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Comment: This book has already been loved by someone else. It MIGHT have some wear and tear on the edges, have some markings in it, or be an ex-library book. Over-all itâ?TMs still a good book at a great price! (if it is supposed to contain a CD or access code, that may be missing)
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A New Coat for Anna (Dragonfly Books) Paperback – May 12, 1988


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Product Details

  • Age Range: 3 - 7 years
  • Grade Level: Preschool - 2
  • Series: Dragonfly Books
  • Paperback: 40 pages
  • Publisher: Dragonfly Books; Reprint edition (May 12, 1988)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0394898613
  • ISBN-13: 978-0394898612
  • Product Dimensions: 10 x 7.9 x 0.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #59,002 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

A rebuilding of the country after war and the gradual attainment of a much-needed new coat are deftly woven themes, luminously portrayed by Lobel. Ages 4-8.
Copyright 1988 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From the Inside Flap

Illus. in full color. "A fresh and moving story of a mother's dedication to acquire a coat for her daughter in post-World War II hard times. Anna's mother decides to trade the few valuables she has left for wool and for the services of a spinner, a weaver, and a tailor. Lobel's pictures do a tremendous job of evoking the period. Insightful and informative, this may make children consider how precious the ordinary can become in times of turmoil."--(starred) Booklist.  

More About the Author

Harriet Ziefert was born in New Jersey. She grew up in North Bergen, New Jersey, where she attended the local schools. She graduated from Smith College, then received a Masters degree in Education from New York University. "About twelve years ago," says Ziefert in a 1995 interview, "I tried to get a job as an editor, but no one would hire me as a trade editor. So I decided to write my own books." Since then, she has written several hundred books, mostly picture books and easy-to-read books. "I write books very quickly," she says, "in about twelve hours. I rewrite them three times over three days, and then they're done." She writes about twenty books a year. Ziefert's picture book A New Coat for Anna is about a girl in a bombed-out European city during the months just after World War II. Anna has outgrown her old coat, and her mother trades her few surviving treasures--a watch, a lamp, a necklace, and a porcelain teapot--in order to obtain wool and have it spun, woven, and finally sewn into a fine red coat for Anna. A Horn Book Magazine reviewer stated, "the simple text, based on a true story, carries the narrative along effectively." The book, which was illustrated by Anita Lobel, was chosen as one of ten books to be read aloud by former First Lady Barbara Bush as part of a program promoting reading. Ziefert was invited to the White House for the occasion. The reason Ziefert began writing easy-to-read books was that she felt "they were getting too hard for kids to read in the first grade." She says that she wrote easy-to-read books with seventy-five or fewer words, even ones with fifty or fewer words, "to see how much of a story" she could produce with that limit. She enjoyed the challenge, and cites her book Sleepy Dog as an example. "Sleepy Dog is the most successful book I've ever done, in terms of number of books sold." She's also been working on a developmental program with publisher Dorling Kindersley, made up of books for babies, toddlers, and preschoolers. Her book Pete's Chicken, which was illustrated by Laura Rader, was reviewed in the New York Times Book Review as "a simple, sweet 'Song of Myself' for children . . . [which] applauds the specialness of every child as it reminds parents of the healing power of just being there for children." Among her other books is a series of easy-to-read books, such as Trip Day and Worm Day, about an inventive science teacher and his rambunctious class of students. Ziefert's book Let's Get a Pet was named an Outstanding Science Trade Book for Children by a joint committee of the National Science Teachers Association and the Children's Book Council. . Ms. Ziefert lives in Maplewood, New Jersey and Lincoln, Massachusetts. She has two adult sons.

Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5 stars
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We purchased this book after borrowing it from our library.
2girls'mama
This book is beautifully illustrated in soft, natural colors (no neon) and the pictures relate well to the story being told.
Tina Ellis
This book is a wonderful history lesson about the way that parents made sacrifices for their children long ago.
Amazon Customer

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

28 of 28 people found the following review helpful By Volkert Volkersz on October 10, 2000
Format: Paperback
As the post-war child of a family that suffered through World War II in the Netherlands, I can say that "A New Coat for Anna" has the ring of authenticity. In many ways, it reminds me of first-hand stories I heard from my parents and older siblings about the hardships--and the creativity--of ordinary people during those very difficult years.
This well-written story takes the reader through a year in Anna's life, as her mother arranges to have a new coat made by bartering with her neighbors. She trades jewelry for wool, and then a lamp to have it spun. Anna and her mother pick lingonberries together, which they use to dye the yarn red. The bartering continues as the yarn is woven and then tailored into a coat.
The story concludes with a Christmas celebration, "the best they had in a long time," where Anna invites the farmer, the spinner, the weaver, and the tailor to enjoy a Christmas cake together. Anna also takes time to thank the sheep on Christmas Day.
Even the candles on the tree in Anita Lobel's cozy illustration remind me of the Christmas trees of my childhood. Whenever I share this inspiring tale with children, I wax nostalgic and tell about the candles on our trees.
"A New Coat for Anna" drives home the harsh realities of war and its impact on the daily lives of children... and their neighbors. But it's done in a heartwarming way. Highly recommended.
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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Learning All The Time on March 29, 2007
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is a sweet story about how a little girl gets a new coat during the difficult years after World War II. Her resourceful mother must trade some of her treasures to get the wool, the spinning, the weaving, and the sewing done for Anna's new coat.

My daughter belongs to a FIAR (Five in a Row by Jane Claire Lambert) co-op of six 1st-2nd girls this year, and I hosted the co-op for this book. This book is featured in FIAR Volume 2, and the book has plenty of ideas for activities and discussions.

Using the FIAR book as a springboard, this is what we discussed/did:

1. WWII and how devastating it was. How difficult the aftermath of war is for ordinary people, no matter which side of the war they are on. Interestingly, we are not told where Anna and her mother live.

2. Sacrifice, how Anna's mother gave up her special treasures so that Anna would be warm, comfortable, and healthy in the winter with her new coat.

3. Sheep, how important they are to farmers in many countries because they provide milk, sheepskin, meat, and wool. Also discussed shearing. Activity: Made a spring sheep picture with a template I found on the Internet and cotton balls.

4. Measurement, metric versus U.S. Customary Unit. Activity: Measured items of their choosing in both US and metric units, and filled out a chart.

5. Dyes, how roots, nuts, and flowers were used for thousands of years to add color to clothing and make paints. Activity: Tie Dye tee shirts.

6. Bartering, its history, the problems with bartering and why it was generally replaced by money, but how Anna's mother was able to barter when she had no money.

7. Weaving, its history, some vocabulary, types of looms.
Read more ›
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Sharon Russell on July 31, 2003
Format: Paperback
This book is a classic, and was taped by Barbara Bush as part of the Presidential Literacy Project. It begins in a post-war environment, where no one has any money. The story is not only about how a coat is made, but also about how Anna's mother trades her posessions for wool and the services of the spinner, weaver, and tailor in order to make the coat. It culminates at a Christmas party, where all of the people who helped to make the coat are invited to Anna's house, and she even goes back to thank the sheep. The illustrations are well done, and the repetitive text makes it a story that is appropriate for children from 3yrs.(my son's age) to second graders which I have taught.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on October 2, 1998
Format: Paperback
This story takes place right after World War II. Anna needs a new coat, but her mother has no money and the stores are empty. Anna's mother decides to trade the few valuables she has left for a coat. The story takes us to the sheep farm, the spinner, the weaver and the tailor. When Anna finally gets her beautiful new red coat, she has a celebration and invites all the people that helped to make it. I am 6 years old and I learned that things were very hard for people then but they did not lose hope. The pictures in this book are nice, especially the ones with the sheep.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on May 19, 1999
Format: Paperback
I read this book in my third grade reading class. The best part was when Anna fed the sheep apples and gave them paper necklaces. It was sad because they didn't have enough money to buy her a new coat.
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on January 2, 2001
Format: Paperback
A New Coat for Anna is a good book because it shows the cycle of making a coat. The book shows how hard it was to get a coat long ago in World War II. I think it is very educational. I bet there are lots of other people who really want to read this book. I liked this book because it was interesting how Anna's mother had to use her special things to help Anna get a coat. She had to trade the things because there wasn't much money because of the war. At the end, Anna celebrated with everybody that helped her make her coat because she was so happy that she had a new coat. I am eight and I love the book.
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