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A Chair for My Mother 25th Anniversary Edition (Reading Rainbow Books) Paperback – January 23, 2007
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From Scientific American
A young girl tells how she, her mother, and her grandmother save up all of their spare coins in a big glass jar toward the day when they will buy a much-needed easy chair. (Their old furniture and their possessions were destroyed in a fire.) If the plot is scant-after the jar fills up, mother, daughter, and grandmother buy the chair and bring it home-the atmosphere of anticipation and family warmth is strong. Williams' illustrations are energetic watercolor paintings brimming with color and a cozy, indulgent expressionism. Intense roses, blues, yellows, and greens vie for attention in the pictures' blocky compositions, where natty patterning adds extra spice. A striking, offbeat backdrop for a loving story. --This text refers to the Library Binding edition.
From The New Yorker
A tender knockout-from the author/illustrator of, most recently and auspiciously, Three Days on a River in a Red Canoe. "My mother works as a waitress in the Blue Tile Diner," the little-girl narrator begins -- and to the accompaniment of vividly colored, direct, proto-primitive pictures -- the real, life-like story comes out. At home is a glass jar, into which goes all Mama's change from tips and the money Grandma saves whenever she gets a bargain at the market. "When we can't get a single other coin into the jar, we are going to take out all the money and go and buy a chair ... A wonderful, beautiful, fat, soft armchair." This is because -- we see as she tells it -- all the family's furniture burned up in a fire; and though neighbors and friends and relatives brought replacements (a buttercup-and-spring-green spread to contrast with the charred gray gloom just preceding), "we still have no sofas and no big chairs." Only straight, hard, kitchen chairs. Then the jar is full; the coins are rolled in paper wrappers, and exchanged for bills; and "Mama and Grandma and I" go shopping for the chair. This last sequence is a glory: Grandma feeling like Goldilocks, trying out all the chairs; the very rose-covered chair "we were all dreaming of," plump in the middle of the floor; the little girl and her mother, snuggled in it together ... and she can reach right up "and turn out the light if I fall asleep in her lap." It's rare to find so much vitality, spontaneity, and depth of feeling in such a simple, young book. --This text refers to the Library Binding edition.
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Top Customer Reviews
Strangely though, this is one of those stories that once read, absolutely sticks with you for some reason and is much more profound that many a more complex tale I have read.
Simply put, which I feel is appropriate here; this is the story of a little girl and her family. Her mother is a hard working woman who is supporting the family. In the not so distant past, their apartment had burned down and the family lost everything. The entire neighborhood and the little girl's extended family pitched in and helped. Most things were eventually replaced...most thing with the exception of a nice comfortable chair that the mother could set in at night and rest her weary body. Over time the little girl and indeed, the entire family saved and saved their pennies until they were able to buy momma a new chair, or at least a very nice used one.
That's it! That is the story!
When we take this simple tale of love between family members, the neighbors and the relatives, and mix it with the wonderful whimsical art work, we have something very special in this book. Hard times are hard times but the message of everyone pulling together is strong here and is certainly applicable in the hard times many are facing today.
Now I like this story and every kid I have read it to likes it. It is simply pretty special.
Please allow me a small rant here. I note that at least one reviewer; maybe two took exception to this story. They did not like the fact that the woman did not have a husband. They apparently did not like the fact that there were strong women figures in this story. (Apparently the strength of the mother and little girl are all part of some sort of evil anti-Christian feminist agenda). If you read these reviews you find a lot of pure misunderstanding and/or a very twisted philosophy and/or religious view. It is not a `sin' to not have a husband. This story told nothing of divorce. Even it had, that should make no difference what so ever. I know that there are several obscure passages in the bible that tell of how horrid divorce is, but folks...to be honest with you, the vast majority of people I know have been through this process whether they be Christian or otherwise. It is life and we need to deal with it. I also noted in these reviews just a hint of racism here and there. Shame on you! That is pretty disgusting and certainly inappropriate. If your religious views include some sort of racist doctrine, then I strongly suggest you check out some other denomination. It ain't what the bible teaches...trust me.
Thank you for allowing me that little side paragraph.
All in all, this is a great book. Your child will be better for having read it and I dare say you will be too.
This book focuses on three generations of women who are self-reliant. The illustrations are bright and colorful and each spread is embellished with a floral or geometric border. I especially love the illustration of the community showing people of many hues coming out of their houses and lining up to deliver household items to the family in need.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Great lessons about working together, family, saving, etc.
A little girl lives in an apartment with her mother and grandmother.Read more