The Imprint published an article by Jeremy Loudenback on January 18, 2022. Excerpted below, the article can be found here.

In the new children’s book “Demetri Makes a Memory Quilt,” the main character, a young, school-age boy is agitated. Demetri rifles through his mailbox, but there is no sign of a long-awaited letter from his mother.

Demetri’s mom is in prison, and her messages are a precious lifeline as he handles growing up without her.

Over the course of 32 pages, first-time children’s book author Renée Menart describes how Demetri handles the often-overwhelming tangle of his emotions, with the help of caring family members and a supportive teacher. First, his grandmother helps him gather pieces of fabric that remind him of memorable moments with his mom to be stitched into a quilt — pieces of a polka dot towel represents a memory of a fun outing at the beach, where he searched for seashells and built sandcastles with his mom and cousin. Seeing his difficulty staying focused in class, Demetri’s school teacher Mr. Howard helps him draw a picture to send to his mom.

In time, the small boy is able to set aside his constant worry over receiving his mother’s letters, images revealed in expressive, earth-toned drawings by up-and-coming illustrator Candice Bradley.

Read “A New Book for Kids Centers a Child’s Experience of a Parent’s Incarceration” >

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