CM . . .
. Volume 21 Number 20 . . . . January 30, 2015
Simply Read books has published another in its line of literary picture books. Christiane Cicioli, the author, is originally from Quebec while artist Susan Pearson is an illustrator living in Vancouver.
The Jewish folkloric theme of a garment made and re-made (think Sim Taback’s Joseph and His Little Overcoat or Something from Nothing by Phoebe Gilman), is revisited in Anna May’s Cloak.
Anna May receives the gift of a soft, flowy blue cloak from her grandmother who has sewn it herself. Successive generations enjoy the fabric as a dress and then a jacket.
A great grandson gets a hat with matching mittens, and finally there is only enough of the original material left to make quilted bookmarks for daughter, grandson and great grandson, embroidered “Love always, Anna May”.
The story ends with a spread of a busy dress shop, with someone at a sewing machine in the window. Anna May’s great-great-granddaughter is plying her trade as a seamstress in Anna May’s “cozy old house”.
Soft watercolours which often focus on busy hands fashioning the various pieces of clothing suit the sentimental text. I have one quibble with the illustrations in that the pictures do not reflect the passage of the decades as well as they might. A number of pages have borders of flowers and seeds which reinforce the old-fashioned feeling.
Ellen Heaney is a retired children’s librarian living in Coquitlam, BC.
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Copyright © the Manitoba Library Association. Reproduction for personal use is permitted only if this copyright notice is maintained. Any
other reproduction is prohibited without permission.
Copyright © the Manitoba Library Association. Reproduction for personal use is permitted only if this copyright notice is maintained. Any other reproduction is prohibited without permission.