Monday, August 15, 2011

Peaceful Pieces

Next, Terri Lindstrom created the following Readers' Guide for the poetry picture book, Peaceful Pieces.

Hines, Anna G. 2011. Peaceful Pieces: Poems and Quilts About Peace. New York: Henry Holt. ISBN 978-0-8050-8996-7

Recommended Age Levels
Second grade reading level (ages 7-8). This book appeals to all ages.

Summary of Book
Hines used the beautiful artistry of her quilting as an inspiration for this book of poems honoring peace. Using a variety of poetry styles and quilting patterns, Hines relates that peace can be found in the quietness of being alone, with family, the outdoors, or even in the darkest of days, such as fighting with a sibling and in war. People of all ages will appreciate the creative way Hines intertwines her talents as poet and quilter. The vibrant colors of the quilts serve as backdrops that span each page from top to bottom and compliment the poem on that page. At the end, the author offers a short introduction to the famous peacemakers that inspired one of the quilts, and explains how she connects the quilts and poems to tell a story of emotions. Peaceful Pieces: Poems and Quilts about Peace encourages the reader to find peace within themselves and in the world around them.

Review Excerpts
1. “The most striking aspect of the book is its quilted, pieced-cloth artwork, and the borderless pages allow maximum impact for Hines’ bold, expressive visual statements.”
2. "Hines' art is always beautiful; she illustrates her work with astonishing quilts, reproduced full-size, in a variety of designs: In this work she uses black-and-white reverse patterns, mosaic-type images, photographs made into quilt patterns and lots and lots of gorgeous color."
~Kirkus Reviews
3. “Using exquisitely detailed handmade quilts as a backdrop, Hines's poems explore the overarching themes of peace, understanding, tolerance, and friendship.”
~School Library Journal

Questions to Ask Before Reading
These questions are in an order designed to assist in introducing the book.
1. Hold up a quilt. Does anyone know what this is? Show several quilts with different patterns and discuss the patterns, explaining that the patterns convey a meaning. If you have common patterns and need help identifying them ( is a good resource.
2. Explain that quilts are made by stitching layers of fabric together to create a pattern or story.
3. Do you like poetry? What is poetry? What is your favorite poem?
4. Does anyone have ideas as to how quilts and poems could be alike? Different?
5. What is peace? Who do you think of when you hear the word peace? Why do you think of that person?
6. Do you think people can find peace even when they might be fighting with their brother or sister? Mad at their parents? What about when you are in trouble? Lonely? Sad? Happy?

Suggestions for Reading Poems Aloud
These are several ideas showing how to share the poems in the book.
1. Using any poem from Peaceful Pieces: Poems and Quilts about Peace, group students together to read and act out that poem. Throughout the week provide time for groups to collaborate on presenting other poems they enjoyed reading either as a class, group, or independently.
2. Choose a familiar tune and read one of the poems to that tune. Then have students do the same with a tune of their choice. For example, use the tune of The Mulberry Bush nursery rhyme to read Hines’ poem Big Shoes.
3. Students can set up a train of dominoes as they recite the poem Dominoes. When the student gets to the end of the poem, as they say the words they can touch the last one and cause a “domino effect”.
4. While reading What if?, use the examples in the poem as you read; blow bubbles, fire a marshmallow gun, and throw feathers in the air.
5. Partner students to read the poem Peace Sign. Alternate reading the lines. This will give one reader only the word peace to read. Switch lines. Reread the poem numerous times switching which partner says peace. Try saying the word peace in a variety of tones: whisper, shout, and giddy are just a few.

Follow Up Activities
Several activities are listed here to continue the study of peace, poetry, and quilting.
1. Students pick their favorite poem from the book and discuss with a partner what the poem means to them, why they chose it, and what they like about it. Then have each student write about their choice in their poetry journal focusing on text to self, text to text, and/or text to world relationships with the poem.
2. Begin a favorite poem response board. Have students write their favorite poem title and author, why they like it and ask them to illustrate its meaning. Then post them on a bulletin board surrounding a particular theme, in this case Peace. Change the theme every two weeks to keep kids reading, responding, and sharing poetry.
3. Students arrange magnetic words into their own poem. Then write the poem in their journal with an illustration.

1. Play several peace themed songs with lyrics and have the students relate the song to a particular poem in the book. The student should be able to explain why they chose that poem to connect to the lyrics. Examples of songs with the lyrics are:
a) Let it Be by The Beatles
b) Peace in Our Time by 10cc (religious)
c) I’ve Got Peace Like a River by Heritage Singers
d) We are the World by Michael Jackson
e) What a Wonderful World by Louis Armstrong

Social Studies
1 Research the history of quilting.
2. Research prominent peacemakers from around the world.

1. Make a paper classroom quilt. Directions can be found at This will help foster tolerance of one another.
2. Make a class peace quilt. Have children create a block piece for the quilt that represents their understanding of peace. Then have each child connect their block piece to someone else’s until a quilt is made. The quilt can be used in the reading area or hung on the wall as a reminder that we are individuals that make up a group that has to learn to get along. This video explains how to use Oriental Trading Company’s product to make a quilt.
3. A fun recess/art activity: After reading several poems as a class and individually, students can use sidewalk chalk to illustrate their favorite poem. This could be done in a predetermined pattern to be a quilt of favorite poems.

Community Connections
1. Invite a quilt maker to class to explain and demonstrate how quilts are made.
2. Using a list of poets with poems suitable for children, have students dress like their favorite poet and read poetry from that poet. This is could also be done as a poetry presentation for parents.

Poetry Centers
1. Listen to poetry on tape or CD.
2. Play poetry games on the internet.
3. Provide a variety of poetry books of different subjects, styles, and authors for the students to read.
4. Match poems with photographs from magazines.

Related Web Sites
Many websites are listed here under the categories for kids, listening to poems, and teacher resources.

Kid’s Web Sites

Anna Grossnickle Hines
(The author’s page explains how she uses quilting to create her poems.)

Breaking Down the Walls
(This website has classroom activities and student games teaching them about peace and how to be tolerate of other cultures.)

The International Kids Club
(This website offers activities about peace.)

Game Goo
(This is a game using alliteration, rhyme, rhythm.)

Poetry to Listen to Online
The Children’s Poetry Archive


Peace Kids

Teacher Resource Sites
Anna Grossnickle Hines
(The author’s page offers several follow up activities.)

ABC Teach
(This teacher’s website offers a wide variety of activities to do with students.)

International Day of Peace
(This website can be used to gain information about this day to share with students.)

Read Write Think
(This site offers lesson plans on a variety of topics. The one chosen here is created by Judi Moreillon using The Big Book for Peace ISBN 0525446052)

Poem Hunter
(This is a great way to find poems quickly on any topic.)

Women Folk
(This website explains the variety patterns of quilting and gives a history of quilting.)

Oriental Trading Company (You Tube)
( A video that explains how to use a product from the Oriental Trading Company to make a simple classroom quilt.)

Poetry Teachers
(This website has a multitude of ideas for sharing poems with children.)

Related Books
In this section several pieces of literature are listed.
Quilt Poetry
1. Hines, Anna G. 2005. Pieces: A Year in Poems and Quilts. New York: Greenwillow Books. ISBN 1590783522
2. Hines, Anna G. 2005. Winter Lights: A Season in Poems and Quilts. New York: Greenwillow Books. ISBN 0060008172
3. Wassenhove, Sue V. 2008. The Seldom-Ever-Shady Glades: Poems and Quilts. Honesdale, PA: Wordsong. ISBN 0688169635

Fiction Books with Quilts
1. Bourgeois, Paulette. 2003. Oma’s Quilt. Ill. by Stephane Jorisch. Tonawanda NY: Kids Can Press. ISBN 9781553376255
2. Brumbeau. Jeff. 2001. The Quiltmaker’s Gift. Ill. by Gail De Marcken. New York: Scholastic Press: ISBN 0439309107
3. Coerr, Eleanor. 2010. The Josefina Story Quilt. Ill. by Bruce Degen. Pine Plains, New York: Live Oak Media. ISBN 1430108169 and 13- 9781430108160 with CD
4. Flournoy, Valeria. 1985. The Patchwork Quilt. Ill. by Jerry Pinkney. New York: Dial. ISBN 0803700970
5. Hopkinson, Deborah. 1995. Sweet Clara and the Freedom Quilt. Ill. by James Ransome. New York: Drangonfly Books. ISBN 0679874720.
6. Johnston, Tony. 1996. The Quilt Story. Ill. by Tomie de Paola. New York: Puffin. ISBN 0698113683
7. Kurtz, Shirley. 2001. The Boy and the Quilt. Ill. by Cheryl Benner. Beaverton, Oregon: Good Books. ISBN: 1561480096
8. Love, D. Anne. 1996. Bess’s Log Cabin Quilt. Ill. by Ronald Himler. New York: Yearling. ISBN 0440411971
9. Polacco, Patricia. 2001. The Keeping Quilt. New York: Aladdin Paperbacks. ASIN B004ACAHJ8
10. Root, Phyllis. 2003. The Name Quilt. Ill. by Margot Apple. Phoenix: Farrar, Straus & Giroux. ISBN 0374354847

Fiction Books about Peace
1. Durell, Ann. 1990. The Big Book for Peace. Ill. by Marilyn Sachs. Boston: Dutton Juvenile. ISBN 0525446052
2. Jackson, Jill and Miller, Sy. 2009. Let There Be Peace on Earth: And Let It Begin with Me (Book & CD) Ill. David Diaz. New York: Tricycle Press. ISBN 9781582462851
3. Millman, Dan. 1991. Secret of the Peaceful Warrior. Ill. by T. Taylor Bruce. Tiburon, CA: H J Kramer, Inc. ISBN 0915811235
4. Parr, Todd. 2004. The Peace Book. New York: Little, Brown and Company. ISBN 0316835315
5. Vega, Elizabeth. 1995. The Laughing River. Ill. by Ashley Smith. Windsor, CA: Rayve Productions. ISBN 1877810355
6. Vladimir, Radunsky. 2003. What does Peace feel like? New York: Atheneum. ISBN 0689866763

Biographies of Famous Peacemakers
1. Aaseng, Nathan. 1992. The Peace Seekers: The Nobel Peace Prize. Minneapolis: Lerner Publishing Group. ISBN 0822596040
2. Adler, David. 1991. Picture Book of Marin Luther King, Jr. Ill. by Robert Casilla. New York: Holiday House. ISBN 0823408477
3. Eddy, Susan. 2003. Mother Teresa (Rookie Biography). New York: Scholastic. ISBN 051627922X
4. McDonough, Yona. and Zeldis, Malcah. 2006. Peaceful Protest:The Life of Nelson Mandela. Ill. by Malcah Zeldis. New York: Walker Childrens. ISBN 080278948X
5. Mitchell, Pratima. 1997. Gandhi: The Father of Modern India. Ill. by Mrinal Mitra. New York: Oxford. ISBN 019521434X
6. Ryan, Pam M. 2002. When Marian Sang. Ill. by Brian Selznick. New York: Scholastic. ISBN 9780439269674
7. Venezia, Mike. 2008. Jimmy Carter: Thirty-Ninth President 1977-1981 (Getting the Know the US Presidents). Ill. by Mike Venezia. Danbury, CT: Children’s Press. ISBN 0516259717

About the Author
“Like these art quilters, I wanted to make quilts that would express concepts, tell stories, and give a visual image to my poems.”
~ Anna Grossnickle Hines

Since crafting her very first quilt for her mother, Anna G. Hines has continued to quilt to creatively express her thoughts. She scanned fabric after fabric looking for just the right pieces to create her fifth book, Peaceful Pieces using quilt patterns for the book’s illustrations. These days Hines makes quilts primarily to design illustrations for her poetry books. A previous quilt poem book, Pieces: A Year in Poems and Quilts, Greenwillow Books, 2001 won many awards. She has written and illustrated over 40 books, including eight Curious George books, and has plans to write and illustrate many more.

This guide is used with permission of Terri Lindstrom.


Sarah said...

Wow. Thank you for this thorough review. My girls - especially my oldest - love poetry and this looks like a good addition to our nighttime reading.

It also might be a good addition to our Pinwheels for Peace homeschooling program in a month.

Joe Sottile said...

To Sylvia Vardell,

Is there any chance that I could be added to your poetry link?

Please visit my site:

Thank you for your time.

Joe "Silly" Sottile