#93 – Mooshka, A Quilt Story by Julie Paschkis

4.5 stars

Karla’s beloved quilt, named Mooshka, is unlike any other quilt, and not only because the material and design are unique.  Mooshka has the ability to talk and tells Karla stories on the nights Karla cannot sleep.  All Karla needs to do is place a hand on a patch, or schnitz, and the quilt becomes a storyteller.  Karla’s grandmother handpicked each schnitz and told Karla the story behind each as she lovingly pieced Mooshka together.  These are the stories that Mooshka recites to Karla late at night.

One day, Karla’s baby sister Hannah moves into Karla’s bedroom.  Karla does not seem happy sharing her room, voicing this to Mooshka when the quilt refuses to retell a schnitz story.  Mooshka no longer says sweet dreams.  One night Hannah, like all babies, begins a crying jag that Karla cannot help but hear.  Karla takes Mooshka to the crib hoping the quilt will comfort her baby sister.

I initially read this on a Kindle, which I do not recommended.  Many of the illustrations did not display properly and some of the text was out-of-order.  The actual print book is excellent.  The story is a new way to bring two sisters together when one is not too happy about the other intruding her space.  I love this story.  Having shared a bedroom with two older sisters, I know how space can be a precious commodity.

The illustrations, also by the author, are bright and cheery.  The two girls, Karla and Hannah are adorable.  Each page is bright and cheerful, just like Mooshka and her many colors and patterns.  The reason for Mooshka becoming silent is a little muddy.  Is it because she can only recite stories to Karla or, because it seems, Karla does not want to share her bedroom with Hannah?  In any case, a silent Mooshka  allows Karla time to consider her sister’s needs.

Mooshka is a quilt made of memories with a little magic thrown in.  Karla’s grandmother calls each piece a schnitz.  A schnitz is a slice or a cut.  The schnitz in Mooshka are slices of family history kept alive by passing down the story of each fabric to Karla and then to Hannah.  Being equally curious about the name Mooshka, I looked it up in the Urban Dictionary.  Mooshka has two definitions, both of which apply to this story.  The first definition states mooshka is a term of endearment.  The second definition is a small being that is both sweet and adorable.  Mooshka seems to be a term a grandmother would call Karla, not the quilt, but it works well for the story.

Mooshka, A Quilt Story is a wonderful bedtime read that will interest young children, especially little girls.   However, be careful.  If your child reads this story and owns a quit, your little mooshka will want to know the story of each and every schnitz before agreeing to lights out.

Mooshka, A Quilt Story

Author and Illustrator:  Julie Paschkis
Publisher:  Peachtree Publishing
Publication Date: March 1, 2012
Number of Pages: 32
ISBN: 978-1-56145-620-8


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