After a fire destroys their home and possessions, Rosa, her mother, and grandmother save and save until they can afford to buy one big, comfortable chair that all three of them can enjoy.
About the Author
Graduate of Black Mountain College, North Carolina, where she majored in graphic art. She has done graphic art, school teaching, children-raising [she has two daughters and a son], has run a bakery and been a cook in schools and restaurants. Vera B. Williams is also the winner of the 2009 NSK Neustadt Prize for Children's Literature.
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 it 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. (Kirkus Reviews)
Series: Reading Rainbow Books
For Ages: 4 - 6 years old
For Grades: 1 - 2
Number Of Pages: 32
Published: 1st August 1984
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers Inc
Country of Publication: US
Dimensions (cm): 25.1 x 20.3 x 0.3
Weight (kg): 0.13
Edition Type: New edition