About the Book
Book: The Barn Quilt
Author: Patti Michels
Genre: Children’s Book
Release Date: November 19, 2019
Farmer Max and Miz Patti have a big red barn on their Maple Shade Farm, but one thing is missing—they need a barn quilt. But what pattern should they hang on the side of their barn? The pineapple quilt, or the corn and beans quilt, or what about a quilt with animals on it? None of them are quite right though. Since it’s Christmas, they wonder what barn quilt would have been just right for the stable where Jesus was born. Work along with their neighbor boy, Dennis, as he helps Farmer Max and Miz Patti decide on and make the perfect barn quilt.
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About the Author
Patti Michels has lived in the same rural midwestern county her entire life, thirty-nine of those with her husband. She loves designing her family’s Christmas card and working with senior citizens. At the end of a long day, she enjoys returning to the farm and looking out her kitchen window at her own barn quilt.
More from Patti
Imagine my surprise when I briefly researched the history of barn quilts and discovered that they apparently originated in my home state of Ohio! And that they are not an Amish legacy; I had always connected the two in my mind because of the quilting link. I was eager to read this children’s book because I love literature about farm life, and I was anticipating the seasonal setting. Christmas always seems like a good time to enjoy some children’s books, and it’s even merrier when the two come together!
Patti Michels’ “The Barn Quilt” is written for young readers, perhaps around third grade age, and it is also suitable for parents to read to their children. I thought that it was a cute story, and although as an adult reader the narrative felt repetitive and the resolution obvious, the target audience would doubtless enjoy it and find it appropriate. I appreciated the fact that despite being contemporary, there is no mention of electronic devices. This gives it an old-fashioned feel that harmonizes with the title. The subtitle, however, did not fit as well for me. It did not read to me like a Christmas story, and I would not really have described it as such. The very ending is Christmassy but not altogether connected to the rest of the story, and while on a second read-through I noticed a few more holiday details, overall I had a difficult time classifying this as a Christmas tale. The cover indicates springtime, and the illustrations within only hint at the Christmas season. The outdoor scenes do have bare trees, but the ground is more green than white. Also, the note at the end of the book remarks that the custom of barn quilts “started many years ago”, but it seems that they are not documented before 2001, so I question this. It doesn’t have much bearing on the story itself, but I still think that if it is included, it should be verified. Nevertheless, the message of love and the conversation about what type of barn quilt should have been on the stable where Jesus was born are endearing.
Thoughtful and easy to read, with basic details of farm living and animals worked into the dialogue, “The Barn Quilt” offers a story that will cause young readers to think and ponder solutions while learning about farming and the fascinating variety of barn quilts.
I received a complimentary copy of this book through CelebrateLit and was not required to post a favorable review. All opinions are my own.
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