Cover image for Homespun Sarah
Homespun Sarah
Kay, Verla.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
New York : G.P. Putnam's Sons, [2003]

Physical Description:
1 volume (unpaged) : color illustrations ; 21 x 26 cm
Simple rhyming text presents the everyday life of a young girl, living on a Pennsylvania farm in the early eighteenth century, who is quickly outgrowing her dress.
Program Information:
Accelerated Reader AR LG 2.2 0.5 69421.
Added Author:
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
PIC BK Juvenile Fiction Picture Books
PIC BK Juvenile Fiction Childrens Area-Picture Books
PIC BK Juvenile Fiction Picture Books
PIC BK Juvenile Fiction Picture Books

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Sarah's life in Colonial Pennsylvania is anything but easy. She and her family have to grow, raise, and make everything they need-including their clothes. The time and effort that takes means that nothing is replaced until it's absolutely necessary. As Sarah helps plant flax and raise sheep throughout the year, her one dress gets tighter and tighter. But in the nick of time, wool is spun, fabric is woven, and a brand-new dress is made just for her. The details of colonial life are captured in lively verse and glowing illustrations, making Sarah's joyful spin in her new dress an ending readers will cheer. Illustrated by Ted Rand.

Reviews 3

Booklist Review

K^-Gr. 3. Succinct, rhyming text and warm watercolor-and-acrylic spreads help to introduce and celebrate eighteenth-century Pennsylvania farm life. Sarah rises early and prepares for her chores--hauling water, gathering firewood, weeding the garden, washing clothes, making candles, picking berries, spinning flax, and, finally, helping Mother to sew a new dress. Along the way, there are disasters to be averted, such as putting out the fire that catches on Mother's dress as she cooks a meal. The text is brief ("Homespun Sarah, / Braided head. / Warm quilt, snuggle, / Feather bed."), but Kay works in plenty of information, and her author's note clarifies specific customs (children stand at the dinner table) that may be unfamiliar to listeners. Rand's earth-tone illustrations elaborate the text and also detail setting and clothing particulars. This makes a good choice for primary classrooms studying pioneers. Children will enjoy hearing the story read aloud; let them pour over the illustrations later. --Kay Weisman

Publisher's Weekly Review

With her signature spare and crisp rhyming verse Kay (Broken Feather) introduces readers to the daily life of a colonial-era Pennsylvania farm family. Sarah and her siblings put in long hours that start at daybreak ("Rooster crowing,/ Water, pour./ Bare toes prancing,/ Chilly floor"). Sarah, the oldest girl, brings water from the stream, weeds the garden, cooks cornmeal over the fire (she even helps extinguish the flames when a spark ignites her mother's hem) and stands eating her dinner, all the while chafing under her dress ("Sarah squirming,/ Clothes too tight./ Laces straining,/ Woeful sight"). By book's end, the whole family has contributed to the construction of Sarah's new homespun frock. Rand's (Sailing Home) watercolors imaginatively fill in the backdrop to Kay's plethora of fun facts. He shows how the siblings dip the candles, shear the sheep, spin the flax, etc., and adds details of his own (a toddler tethered to a mother or an older sister as they perform their chores). The paintings also convey an overall lightness of mood, reflected in the characters' mostly cheerful faces. An author's note helps readers understand the details in this spunky, informative tale. Ages 4-8. (Apr.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

School Library Journal Review

Gr 1-4-Kay blends solid storytelling with historically accurate details in this engaging look at the everyday life of an 18th-century Pennsylvania farm girl. From shearing sheep to handsewing homespun fabric, the staccato verses and realistic watercolors reveal the hard work involved in replacing Sarah's outgrown dress with a new one. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.