Title: The Handkerchief Quilt
Author: Carol Crane
Illustrator: Gary Palmer
Publisher: Sleeping Bear Press
Concepts: scarcity, needs, budget constraints, altruism
Review: Miss Anderson, a devoted and hard-working teacher, had a signature trademark: handkerchiefs. She always wore several handkerchiefs to match her dresses, and over the years her students had given her enough handkerchief gifts to fill a large cedar chest. They could always be put to good use, Miss Anderson would say, but little did she realize exactly how much until one awful day after a long holiday weekend when the school closed unexpectedly.
The furnace had gone out, the pipes had burst, water had poured into the classrooms and library, and most of the books and school supplies had been damaged. With little money in the school budget to purchase new materials, Miss Anderson came up with the idea of making and selling a quilt made of her prized possessions. But who would buy such a quilt, and would the money suffice?
This touching book, based on a true story about the author’s mother, makes a useful resource for introducing young learners to the idea of pressing needs in the face of insufficient funds. While set in the 1950s, the story has as much relevance today as school districts grapple with budget shortfalls and as community members work together to fill the gaps.
Review by: Rutgers University Project on Economics and Children