Author and Illustrator: Julie Paschkis
Publisher: Peachtree Publishers
Publication Date: March 1, 2012
Rating: 3 Stars
At bedtime, Mooshka always said, "Sweet dreams." First thing in the morning, Mooshka might say, "Pancakes."
This is a story of a talking quilt, made by the main character's grandmother to tell the stories of the generations. Quite a cute idea, I might add. However, I'm sad to say that the storyline simply does not live up to the uniqueness of that idea or the normal quality of books from Peachtree Publishers.
I received Mooshka: A Quilt Story from NetGalley for review. The story's illustrations are made from pieces of quilt fabric and are bright, textured, and cheerful. They would capture any child easily from beginning to end. On the contrary, the narrative starts out well but doesn't carry through.
Mooshka is the name of the quilt, and it is somehow magical because it tells stories that help Karla go to sleep each night. All she has to do is touch a piece of fabric, and Mooshka will tell her the story. Readers enjoy short stories of Karla's grandfather's proposal and her mother's escapades of jumping out of the cherry tree to learn how to fly. We also reads stories about the dog's Halloween costume and Karla's aunt's fortune telling.
Then one day when Hannah, Karla's little baby sister moves into Karla's room, the quilt mysteriously stops talking. Karla feels a bit jealous of her little sister, but one night when the baby is crying, she goes over to her sister's crib tell her stories from the quilt. This is where I took issue with the plot of the book. I understand the thought of wanting Karla to tell the stories to her younger sister, but I was disappointed that Mooshka didn't start telling stories again. I dare say children will be dissatisfied with this conclusion, also. In addition, there is no explanation of why Mooshka stops talking. Is it because Mooshka doesn't like the new baby? Is it because Karla was jealous? There is no resolution.
Despite its closing pages, however, Mooshka: A Quilt Story has a strong Russian flavor and captures the joy of giving to the next generation (or at least, in Karla's case, her little sister).
What items do you have in your house that tell a story of past generations?
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