Cynthia Cotten, Virginia Childrens Author, fiction and poetry

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Cynthia Cotten, Vermont childrens author, Abbie in Stitches

Cover art copyright
2006 Beth Peck

A picture book illustrated by Beth Peck, published by Farrar, Straus and Giroux , 2006.

  • 2007 NCSS-CBC Notable Social Studies Trade Book for Young People (National Council for Social Studies/Children's Book Council)

  • Included on the 2007 Amelia Bloomer Project Recommended Titles List, sponsored by the Feminist Task Force of the Social Responsibilities Round Table of the American Library Association.

  • Bank Street College "Best Books", 2007

  • Kansas State Reading Circle, 2007

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.

From the Reviewers

Children's Literature

Peck's impressionistic double-page scenes offer sympathetic portraits of the girls and parents, along with appropriate historic interiors. The warm use of neutral hues helps set off the blues, pinks, and yellows of the clothes. Several scenes detail the sampler making while evoking the emotions Abbie feels as she struggles to produce an acceptable product and finally succeeds. A note adds considerable historic background.

School Library Journal

An afterword describes the era's 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 Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.

Kirkus Reviews

The illustrations have freely drawn impressionistic backgrounds and nicely detailed facial expressions and needlework bits. (Entertainment Weekly)

This gem is both a little history lesson (albeit an effortless one) and a big lesson about outspokenness and strength of character.

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