Skip to main content Skip to search Skip to search

Children's Fiction General

Oma's Quilt

by (author) Paulette Bourgeois

illustrated by Stéphane Jorisch

Kids Can Press
Initial publish date
Aug 2003
Recommended Age
5 to 8
Recommended Grade
k to 3
  • Paperback / softback

    Publish Date
    Aug 2003
    List Price
  • Hardback

    Publish Date
    Sep 2001
    List Price

Classroom Resources

Where to buy it


The time has come for Emily's grandmother to move. But it's hard to leave her house on Maple Street, filled as it is with a lifetime of cherished memories. At the retirement home, Oma complains about everything, from flowers in the hallway to crooked bowling lanes! Emily wants to see Oma happy again, but she doesn't know what to do. At home, Emily and her mother begin to sort through Oma's possessions. They find ribbons, lace, curtains and blankets. Surrounded by the faded fabrics, Emily now knows the perfect way to keep Oma's memories by her side --- by stitching a one-of-a-kind patchwork quilt! Spirited illustrations enhance this uplifting story about lives in transition and the threads of memory that hold them together.

About the authors

Paulette Bourgeois est l'auteure des albums mettant en vedette Benjamin la tortue. Traduites dans 38 langues, les aventures de Benjamin se sont vendues à plus de 60 millions d'exemplaires à travers le monde! Benjamin et la Saint-Valentin a remporté la troisième position au palmarès Communication-Jeunesse des livres pour les jeunes.


When asked what she hopes children will learn from her books, Paulette Bourgeois explains: "It is most important to look for the wonder in ordinary things." Some of this wonder, and a curious anxiety, spill over into her character Franklin. The world's best-loved turtle overcomes the challenges of the everyday life of a five-year-old in a way that resonates with children. Since 1986, Franklin and Paulette have championed a fear of the dark, boastful fibs, thunderstorms, new friends, museum dinosaurs,...
When Paulette finished writing her first book, Franklin in the Dark, she knew that she would always write stories for children. With each new book, she imagines a child turning the last page and giving a satisfied sigh. Paulette explains: "I want readers to feel connected to my storybook world - to feel, to smell, to touch and to explore the landscapes, both internal and external, that I have created. As I write, I draw on my own experiences and find it easy to remember emotions and situations."
Although Paulette is best-known for the Franklin books, she is also the writer of fiction and non-fiction for young readers. In her non-fiction writing, she explores another realm of wonders with her young readers. She shares "amazing" information on many topics: from apples to potatoes; from fire fighters to Garbage Collectors; from the moon to the sun! What's next, the universe! The Sun: Starting with Space was shortlisted for a Science in Society Book Award (1995), given by the Canadian Science Writer's Association, and won the honor of Parents' Choice Approval, given by the US Parents' Choice Foundation (1997).
Currently, Paulette is endeavoring to write longer books for children, and trying to follow the advice she gives to children: "Read, read, read and write, write, write."

Paulette Bourgeois' profile page

Stéphane Jorisch is one of Canada's most celebrated illustrators. He is a two-time winner of the Governor General's Award for Children’s Illustration for Jabberwocky and The Owl and The Pussycat. He grew up in Montréal, Quebec, where he now lives with his family.


Stéphane Jorisch's profile page


  • Winner, Ruth Schwartz Children’s Book Award
  • Short-listed, TORGI Literary Award, CNIB Library for the Blind
  • Short-listed, ForeWord Magazine, Book of the Year Award
  • Winner, Our Choice, Canadian Children’s Book Centre

Editorial Reviews

Oma’s Quilt includes the elements of warmth, comfort, and continuity traditional to a quilt story. However, Bourgeois also adds a couple of twists. This quilt, rather than being the gift of a gentle grandmother to her granddaughter, is a gentle granddaughter’s gift to an Oma cranky enough to dismiss her fellow retirees as nincompoops. Using mixed media, illustrator Stephane Jorisch partners effectively with Bourgeois. His colouful, cartoon-tinged illustrations balance cleverness and sensitivity. Oma’s Quilt tackles the themes of attachment, change, resistance, love, and adjustment. While adults are likely to find the ending simplistic, it will satisfy young children.

The difficult transition from family home to retirement community is poignantly rendered in this cross-generational tale told from a child’s viewpoint “

With spare but spirited text, Bourgeois deftly defines three generations of women, each distinct in voice and circumstance.

Other titles by Paulette Bourgeois

Other titles by Stéphane Jorisch