Wild Rose’s Weaving by Ginger Churchill, illustrated by Nicole Wong
As her name suggests, Wild Rose is no wallflower. She’s too busy running through the meadow spooking the sheep, avoiding lightning, whirling in the wind, splashing in the rain’s leftover rivers, to answer her grandmother’s call to come learn to weave. While Wild Rose enjoys the storm outside, Grandma’s fingers finish a rug with “life in its colors … peace in its pattern.”
As Wild Rose recognizes the meadow, sky, and sunshine beams of Grandma’s creation – “‘A rug is not just a rug … It’s a picture of life,'” Grandma explains – she too is finally ready to learn … although not before taking Grandma’s hand and dancing under the rainbow.
Author Ginger Churchill, herself a weaver, is the third generation (at least) of women artists in her family. “As a child, Ginger came to the conclusion that art is an essential part of life,” her author bio shares. “It is Ginger’s hope that each person will find joy in expressing pieces of themselves and their lives through whatever art they choose.” The art of weaving, she adds at book’s end, “binds us together across the world … [and] also ties us to centuries past.” Churchill reminds us that like Grandma and Wild Rose, to bequeath these traditional arts to younger generations is a precious gift to embrace and cherish.
Illustrator Nicole Wong (who also gently captures Andrea Cheng’s Only One Year and Brushing Mom’s Hair, just right) imbues Churchill’s sweet story with winsome whimsy. Wong’s signature delicate lines and softly glowing colors move effortlessly between Wild Rose’s whirlwind adventures and Grandma’s patient artistry. The effect is indeed a “picture of life” – an inviting celebration to join in.