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Winter Lights: A Season in Poems & Quilts

Children's Poetry Book and Children's Holiday Book

About.com Rating 4.5 Star Rating


Cover art of Winter Lights, children's poetry book
In her children’s book Winter Lights, Anna Grossnickle Hines celebrates the beauty of winter lights during the season of short days and long dark nights. These include the lights of a number of holidays, including Hanukkah, Christmas and Kwanzaa, as well as other winter lights.

A Variety of Winter Lights

As Hines states in the book, "During the dark months, we turn to light for comfort and to lift our spirits: a dancing candle flame, a cozy fire, a beaming flashlight. . . . But perhaps most heartwarming of all are the lights we use in winter celebrations." With poems about winter lights illustrated with beautiful miniature quilts, Hines celebrates the beauty of the season. Her poems include the celebrations of
  • Santa Lucia
  • Winter Solstice
  • Hanukkah
  • Christmas
  • Kwanzaa
  • Chinese New Year.
Other lights emphasized in Winter Lights include starlight, firelight, sunlight, morning light, and the light of the aurora borealis.

The Quilts in Winter Lights

Each two-page spread includes a poem accompanied by an intricate, beautifully designed miniature quilt. According to the publisher, "Two of the quilts in the book, ‘Solstice’ and ‘Star Catchers,’ each contain 8,450 triangles and took four hundred hours to sew."

At the end of the book, there is a three-page article by Hines about the making of the quilts. Included are color photographs of the process and Log Cabin quilt square patterns.

Anna Grossnickle Hines, Author and Illustrator

Anna Grossnickle Hines's first children’s book, Taste the Raindrops, was published in 1983. Winter Lights is the third children’s book Hines has illustrated with quilts. The first, Pieces: A Year in Poems and Quilts, is one of our family’s favorites. The second, Whistling, which features appliqué, was written by Elizabeth Partridge.

In addition to the three children’s books she illustrated with quilts, Anna Grossnickle Hines’ 50+ books include My Grandma is Coming to Town, illustrated by Melissa Sweet; Which Hat is That?, illustrated by LeUyen Pham; Got You!, Not Without Bear, My Own Big Bed, What Joe Saw, Big Like Me, and Daddy Makes the Best Spaghetti.

Winter Lights Activity Guide

Parents and teachers will appreciate theWinter Lights Activity Guide available online from HarperCollins. It includes both group and individual activities that are designed to further an appreciation of the poems and accompanying artwork.

Winter Lights – My Recommendation

I think Winter Lights is a book the whole family will enjoy. It would make an excellent holiday gift for families with children five and older. It would also make an excellent gift for adults who enjoy quilts and quilting. (Greenwillow Books, An Imprint of HarperCollins, 2005. ISBN: 9780060008178)

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