An illuminating picture book biography of an artist and former slave whose patchwork quilts bring the stories of her family to life. Harriet Powers learned to sew and quilt as a young slave girl on a Georgia plantation. She lived through the Civil War and Reconstruction, and eventually owned a cotton farm with her family, all the while relying on her skills with the needle to clothe and feed her children. Later she began making pictorial quilts, using each square to illustrate Bible stories and local legends. She exhibited her quilts at local cotton fairs, and though she never traveled outside of Georgia, her quilts are now priceless examples of African American folk art. Barbara Herkert’s lyrical narrative and Vanessa Newton’s patchwork illustrations bring this important artist to life in a moving picture-book biography.
Vanessa Brantley-Newton is a self taught illustrator of more than 80 children’s books. She first fell in love with picture books when she was read the Snowy Day by Ezra Jack Keats as a child. It was the first time Vanessa saw an image of a brown child that looked like her. Diversity is at the very heart of her illustrations and storytelling. She has written and illustrated three of her own books, Let Freedom Sing, Don’t Let Auntie Mabel Bless The Table and Grandma’s Purse. Vanessa wants every child to know the joy she felt when she saw herself in a picture book. “I want every child to know that I see you.” Vanessa is a lover of music and food. When she isn’t creating children’s Books she is cooking or singing somewhere. She lives in NC with her husband of 25 years and her daughter Zoe.
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