Mama’s Needle by Jeanette Stickel
First Prize, Children's Picture Book, 2019 North Street Book Prize
"I love the book's focus on the needle and the way it symbolized joy and imagination, power and empathy, creativity and thrift. Consider these lines from the book, in which the boy is describing his dream: 'That needle caught a bird flying by, but it didn't hurt it' and 'it speared some leaves shivering in a tree, and rays from the sun.' These poetic words meld beautifully with the colorful drawings of fabric and scraps."
—Ellen LaFleche for Winning Writers
In this engaging picture book, a young African-American boy tells of his mama's needle and her spool of long white thread. She uses it to patch holes in the knees of his pants, bind scraps of cloth into quilts, and stitch dreams into reality. When he has a magical dream of her needle and thread, his mama stitches the images onto a quilt. "Her long shiny needle stitched those pieces together for remembering. Mama says I should go ahead and fly with my dreams."
And he does, taking his quilt with him. It becomes a cape as he rides a dog sled up a snow-covered mountain; a parachute, a saddle-blanket on a camel, a tent, a sail on a sailboat and finally, a flying carpet. "And maybe, some day we'll meet, when you're off flying with your dreams."
Read an excerpt from Mama's Needle (PDF)
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