When Grandma May teaches Sophie to save her gold coins in her colourful and sparkly patchwork purse, something magical happens.
Rattle. Rattle. Rattle.
The Patchwork Purse
By Kerry Weymouth
Picture Story Book
What are the special themes or messages for the child reader?
The main theme is about saving. Saving gold coins is better than spending coins on lollies! I feel that most parent’s have a desire to teach their kids good saving habits. By the end of the story, Grandma May is delighted by Sophie’s actions. Sophie, now understands the importance of saving coins thanks to the patchwork purse. Plus, lollies are full of sugar. I’m a parent, and this is my subtle way of teaching my readers to steer away from the sugar.
What are the hidden themes you want your reader to explore?
I love to layer hidden themes in my stories. The Patchwork Purse has a hidden theme about value. The value of a hand made gift Vs the value of a mass produced factory standard purse. The value of making wise decisions when it comes to spending or saving gold coins.
What do you think it is that makes the reader connect to your characters?
Every girl can relate to owing a special purse, especially when it is colourful with sequins. The child reader can also relate to receiving a special present from their grandma. At the same time, the adult reader can relate to Grandma making something by hand for their granddaughter.
Have you had a similar experience to your characters?
Growing up on our family farm, I had a close relationship with my Grandma. My Grandma, Isabel, gave me a lovely make up bag for my 18th birthday. I have developed the habit of using my make up bag on every over night trip, for the past 20 years! In the story, Grandma May wants Sophie to use the patchwork purse and develop good habits.
When you were a child, did your grandma make you something special?
Yes. My grandma loved to make clothes, and costumes on her sewing machine. My grandma made for me, a Punky Brewster jumper, with patches of colour and trim between the colours. I had the matching Punky Brewster happy sun, and bright yellow hair ties. I thought I was the coolest! I was a huge Punky Brewster fan at the time.
How does Sophie change during the story?
Sophie begins to see the results of her actions. In the middle of the story, she becomes empowered to save gold coins to go on the next adventure. When I write stories, I like to make sure it is the child who is taking the action, learning and growing through experiences.
Where did you get your idea from for The Patchwork Purse?
I went to an art gallery and bought a lovely handmade Alice In Wonderland purse for my daughter. It was a gorgeous purse! I had a dream in August 2018, about that pretty purse turning into a patchwork boat. I had liked the idea of a special purse being able to transform into another object. My advice to aspiring authors, always write down your dreams and use for story inspiration.
How come the purse is made out of patchwork?
My mother made by hand patchwork pin cushions, pillow cases, quilts, and quilt covers. I have my mother’s patchwork pin cushion sitting in my office, and I look at it each day to invoke my creating flow.
How long did it take you to write the first draft?
It took me one day to write Sophie’s Patchwork Purse. I looked at my notes that I had jotted down after my dream, and started with a character profiles. I knew the energy and emotion I wanted both Grandma May and Sophie to feel on the last page. I may be a bit old school, but I enjoy using a pen and blank sheets of paper to write down my ideas.
Why do you think the story is successful?
I have my readers immediate attention at the beginning. There is action happening on every page to engage my readers. The three characters, Sophie, Grandma May and the patchwork purse are easy to love and connect with.
How did you feel about being matched with an illustrator?
I trusted my intuition. I didn’t have any concerns. I trusted the process completely, and knew the perfect illustrator would be matched to bring my story alive. I knew that I had created a strong story with a fresh voice, that allowed the illustrator to step in and create beautiful pictures.