cover image Pieces: A Year in Poems & Quilts

Pieces: A Year in Poems & Quilts

Anna Grossnickle Hines. Greenwillow Books, $18.99 (32pp) ISBN 978-0-688-16963-3

In a series of quilted designs worthy of exhibition, Hines (My Own Big Bed) illustrates the theme of this deceptively simple, unique collection of poems: ""Pieces of the seasons/ appear and disappear/ in a patchwork pattern/ making up a year."" Her language, both playful and adroit, allows readers to see familiar seasonal changes anew. ""Good Heavens,"" for instance, depicts a spring lawn as ""astronomical/ with dandelion blooms"" that fill the green sky with ""a thousand suns/ and then/ a thousand moons."" Hines varies her quilt designs as often as she varies her poems' rhythm and rhyme schemes. In one of the longer poems, ""Do You Know Green?,"" the words trickle down the page, much like the light that filters through the trees in the accompanying quilt; both the poem's construction and the long vertical tree trunks emphasize the forest's height and grandeur. Meanwhile, abstract quilts like the one featuring hundreds of flowered squares in ""Misplaced?"" stress frivolityDin this case, a joke involving a flowerbed where ""bloomers are not sleepyheads."" An appendix explains Hines's meticulous quilting process. Wearing two hats, Hines takes her quilter's stash of fabric swatches and her wordsmith's metaphors for memories of the seasons, and pieces together a unified, artistic whole. An outstanding book for aspiring quilters or anyone at all. Ages 5-up. (Mar.)