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28 of 28 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A heart-warming story about the harsh realities of war, October 10, 2000
By 
Volkert Volkersz (Snohomish County, WA United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: A New Coat for Anna (Dragonfly Books) (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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17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful book, springboard for a lot of interesting discussions..., March 29, 2007
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This review is from: A New Coat for Anna (Dragonfly Books) (Paperback)
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. Activity: Weaving on small looms I made out of foamcore. The kids wove with yarn, strips of fabric, and beads.

8. Vocabulary - clothesline, war, shear, porcelain, card, ligonberries, garnet, and weave.

This book is VERY similar to the book, "Pelle's New Suit" by Elsa Beskow, published in the 1920s, even down to the thanking of the lambs at the end! That book is also worth hunting down, the illustrations are just lovely. It could be a nice project to compare and contrast the two stories.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Terrific Post-War Upbeat Book, July 31, 2003
By 
This review is from: A New Coat for Anna (Dragonfly Books) (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
5.0 out of 5 stars Anna must wait for a long time for her new coat., October 2, 1998
By A Customer
This review is from: A New Coat for Anna (Dragonfly Books) (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
5.0 out of 5 stars It was interesting and sad., May 19, 1999
By A Customer
This review is from: A New Coat for Anna (Dragonfly Books) (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
5.0 out of 5 stars About Anna's New Coat, January 2, 2001
By 
This review is from: A New Coat for Anna (Dragonfly Books) (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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5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful Pics; Great Story, April 29, 2014
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This review is from: A New Coat for Anna (Dragonfly Books) (Paperback)
Great story about a community of individuals coming together to create a new coat for Anna. Introduction to: bartering, economics, community, limited resources, consumerism, and civility. Beautiful pictures. Not scary. Good for ages 4-10.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Rating, April 22, 2014
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This review is from: A New Coat for Anna (Dragonfly Books) (Paperback)
This is a sweet story about a mom providing a new coat for her growing daughter. Illustrations are nice. Book shipped quickly and was in great condition.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Fleece to Coat...the Process., December 30, 2013
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This review is from: A New Coat for Anna (Dragonfly Books) (Paperback)
I would recommend this book to all fiber lovers. Have given it to a few spinner/weavers to share w/their grandchildren. Some are going thru all the steps w/the child beginning w/raw fiber, showing the child how it is spun, dyed (using Kool-aid) and woven or knitted to create a garment. The vintage looking illustrations are understated allowing for the pop of red color to draw in the viewer.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Love this book!, December 25, 2013
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This review is from: A New Coat for Anna (Dragonfly Books) (Paperback)
Fantastic book to use right before Christmas to launch into wants/needs, goods/services, scarcity and bartering/trading as a form of payment. I have used for the last 3 years to meet CC Social Studies standards for above mentioned areas in my first grade classroom. The kids really enjoy this story. It pairs well with The Ox-Cart Man and leads right into "The Legend of the Poinsettia", an adaptation by Tomie dePaola if you have accompanied it with videos on sheering, spinning and weaving.
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A New Coat for Anna (Dragonfly Books)
A New Coat for Anna (Dragonfly Books) by Harriet Ziefert (Paperback - May 12, 1988)
$7.99 $7.19
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