Abbie in Stitches

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9780374300043: Abbie in Stitches

It’s the early 1800s, and Abbie’s sister, Sarah, is a proper young lady who loves needlework. She has already made a sampler displaying her neat and even stitching. But when it becomes time for Abbie to make her sampler, she despairs – she hates needlework and would much rather curl up with one of the books on Papa’s shelf. How will she ever get through the long, tedious hours of needlework? And how can she pick a subject for a picture to sew when she really doesn’t care about the sampler at all? After considering what’s really important to her, Abbie completes the sampler in a way that is all her own.
 
Lovely pastel illustrations accompany this story about a girl who is not afraid to speak (or sew) what’s really on her mind – that she would rather be reading.  Abbie in Stitches is a 2007 Bank Street - Best Children's Book of the Year.

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About the Author:

Cynthia Cotten has written several books for young readers, including This Is the Stable, At the Edge of the Woods and Snow Ponies. She grew up in Lockport, New York, a small town on the Erie Canal. She didn’t always know she wanted to be a writer—she dreamed of being a teacher, a marine biologist, a U.N. interpreter and a jockey—but she always loved reading. “My idea of the perfect summer vacation,” she says, “was to go to the library once a week, check out as many books as I could fit into my bike basket, and spend the rest of the week sitting someplace cool, reading.” Cotten lives in Montclair, Virginia.

From School Library Journal:

Grade 2-3–In this pleasant family story set in western New York in the early 1820s, Abbie, who is perhaps six or seven, attends sewing classes but would rather read than stitch the required sampler. To make matters worse, her older sister has set a challenging example. Done in soft focus, the double-page paintings with framed text blocks create a good sense of the period, Abbies home life, and Mrs. Browns Wednesday-afternoon embroidery sessions. The story spans several months of the girls struggles with less-than-neat fabric and stitches and her final humorous statement of rebellion, sewn into the bottom of her work. Though the story focuses on the laborious needlework, no distinct picture of it or any sampler is provided–all are only suggested in indistinct form. An afterword describes the eras educational practices for girls and the emphasis placed on the embroidered sampler. A good selection for those who like reading about life in other times.–Margaret Bush, Simmons College, Boston
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Cynthia Cotten, Beth Peck (Illustrator)
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