Based on author Baptiste Paul’s childhood experiences in St. Lucia, Patchwork Prince is a moving story about familial love and pride despite hardship. One night, a mother and her son collect fabric scraps discarded by a wealthy factory owner. Over the course of their adventure, the boy transforms figuratively into a prince. Princes must be patient, fast, alert and brave. After the duo escapes with piles of vibrant fabric scraps, his mother—queen of this “modest kingdom”—must get to work creating her prince’s royal attire.
Illustrations by Kitt Thomas, a fellow St. Lucian, thrum with color and movement. Readers will be awed by tiny details on each page: glimmering stars, the many fabric patterns and the glow of the candlelight. As in previous picture books such as My Fade is Fresh and Stacey’s Remarkable Books, Thomas’ artwork is distinct for its softness, vibrancy and texture, making the characters and settings burst to life.
Patchwork Prince invokes in readers both the fear and hope felt by the prince. As the prince bravely wears his mosaic garment around his friends, his expression of pride reminds readers to find joy in the beautiful gifts we receive throughout life. The young prince’s admiration toward his mother’s creative process will delight caregivers who read this book to their charges. The love between mother and son, shown most of all through their cuddle in the last illustration, will drive readers to snuggle up closer during storytime and imagine ways they might also transform into royalty.
Paul and Thomas have created a marvelous book that depicts the regal beauty of their homeland for all to admire.