On a snowy, winter night, a mother works by candlelight as she stitches together a quilt for her daughter, Abigail. It is a quilt that has taken all winter for the mother to make, and she lovingly stitches Abigail's name into its design, along with pictures of birds and stars shooting across the sky. Abigail wraps the quilt around herself when she sleeps. She lays it out on the ground while having tea with her dolls. The quilt goes everywhere Abigail goes, even across the country, to the new log cabin that Abigail's father builds for his pioneering family.
Years later the quilt is left in the attic with other old things. There, it continues to provide warmth and comfort — now to a family of mice, and later, a stray raccoon, and a cat. Years have passed by the time another little girl discovers the quilt. It is falling apart, but the little girl finds it every bit as beautiful and precious as Abigail once did. With needle and thread, the little girl's mother repairs the quilt, and when the family rides in their car to their new home on the other side of the country, the quilt goes with them. And like Abigail long before her, the little girl sleeps at night under the quilt covered in birds and stars shooting across the sky.
The colorful quilt of Tony Johnston's wonderful story shows how even the simplest of objects can possess a history that is rich in time and place. Tomie dePaola's illustrations look like woodcarvings and perfectly evoke the pioneer world of the young Abigail. Young readers and listeners alike will enjoy comparing the dress and appearance of Abigail and her family with that of the little girl of the present day.
"A quilt that provides warmth, fun, and comfort to two different generations is the star of this rich picture book...dePaola provides warm, dignified interpretations of Johnston's story". — Booklist
, starred review