About the Book:
Arlene is a little girl who loves to make things. She begins by making presents for her doll, Maggie. As she grows up, she moves on to creating gifts for her own children and grandchildren. This is a lovely story that is designed to help children see a different side of the elders in their lives and understand that they were once children, too.
Great-Grandma's Gifts is a picture book that celebrates the multi-generational family. It reminds us that our moms, grandmas, and great-grandmas were all children once and they have stories to tell. It helps to bridge the age gap and to bring granddaughters and great-granddaughters closer to their elders.
Amanda liked all the pretty colors of the quilts and all the ideas that Arlene had. Amanda even giggled when little Arlene copied her mother's words. I thought it was interesting how her sewing projects changed as the years went by and the needs changed.
Don't forget Mother's Day! This would be the perfect gift for a great-grandma, grandma, mom, or daughter.
About the Author:
Marianne Jones is a retired teacher from Thunder Bay, Ontario. Her work has appeared in Reader’s Digest, Canadian Living, The Globe and Mail, and numerous literary and denominational publications. Her books include The Land of Mogan, a children’s fantasy novel, Here, on the Ground, an award-winning collection of poetry, Great- Grandma’s Gifts, a picture book for preschool and early elementary, and The Serenity Stone Murder, a cozy mystery set in Thunder Bay. Her most recent book, The Girl Who Wouldn’t Die, is the as-told-to memoir of Linda Stewardson. The Girl Who Wouldn’t Die was the winning entry in the 2015 Word Alive publishing contest.
Marianne has been named International Poet Laureate by Utmost Christian Writers. Her poetry has won numerous awards, and while not all her words are carved in stone, some of her poems are, at the Marina Park.
Marianne is a member of The League of Canadian Poets, The Writers Union of Canada, and The Northwestern Ontario Writers Workshop (NOWW).
How I Came to Write Great-Grandma’s Gifts
by Marianne Jones
Sewing was both my mother’s creative outlet, and a means of economizing. She delighted in her ten grandchildren, but didn’t have the funds to spoil them with expensive presents. So with her talent for sewing and her accumulation of fabric scraps from years of dressmaking, she began making countless dolls and stuffed animals, toys and nativity sets to delight herself and her grandkiddies. A favourite of my children was a fuzzy peach-coloured cat they promptly named “Peachy Keen.” Soon, all the grandchildren had to have their own Peachy Keens. Peachy was more cool than Barbie.
Alas, even grandchildren, like their parents before them, grow up into adults. My mother cast about for a way to continue expressing her love with thread and needle. When she saw a picture of a Victorian crazy quilt, she knew she had found her niche. She set about making wedding quilts for each grandchild from her growing collection of silk and velvet scraps donated by friends and family. When my oldest daughter worked in the wardrobe department of the Shaw Festival, she collected the discarded scraps of exquisite costuming materials to mail to her grandmother. Those scraps became part of her new art form.
When my long-awaited first granddaughter was born, I wanted her to grow up knowing about her great-grandmother, and her legacy of creativity, thrift, and love of children. I enlisted my sister’s help as a watercolour artist, and “Great Grandma’s Gifts” was the result. But I think it’s about more than our mother. I hope it speaks to a time when people expressed love, not by buying things, but through the gifts of time, patience, and the work of their hands and hearts.
Disclosure: I received a free digital copy of this book for my honest review.