Bibliographic Information: Ernst, Lisa Campbell. (1983). Sam Johnson and the Blue Ribbon Quilt. New York: Lothrop, Lee & Shepard Books.
Brief Annotation: Sam Johnson decides to join the women’s quilting club after discovering he likes to sew, but the women all laugh at him. He creates a men’s quilting club and each club makes a quilt for the county fair – who will win?
Grade Level: 4-6
Readers who will like this: Children who like sewing or quilting; children who like stories about farm life; children who like shapes and patterns.
Rating/Response: 4 This book has many great quilting patterns with lots of shapes and patterns to study for mathematics. This book is also a great and simple story about the stereotype that sewing is “women’s work” and could open up discussion on other things that students have heard during their life relating to what is acceptable and not acceptable for boys and girls.
One question you would ask before a read aloud: Does anyone know what a quilt is and what kinds of things make up a quilt? (shapes, patterns, fabric, etc.)
Reading Strategy: Mathematics
Rationale for Strategy: This book is great for learning about shapes, patterns, transformations, and tessellations. Students can look at the illustrations in the book and find shapes, see what shapes make up other shapes, discuss what types of transformations occur in the quilt patterns, and find and indentify patterns.
Posted by: Jenna Bosch