Saturday, May 8, 2010

Book Review: A Chair for My Mother

I wanted to review a book for Mother's Day. My first thought was the Caldecott Honor book A Chair for My Mother, by Vera B. Williams. This was one of my favorite books I was introduced to as a Kindergarten Learning Coach for Washington Virtual Academies last year.
Summary: The story begins with Mom's job: a waitress at a diner. Some days, after school, Rosa does chores there, too. Half of the money she makes is put in a big glass jar at home. Her mom puts all her tips into this big jar. If grandma has an extra coin, it goes in there, too. When the jar is full, they intend to buy a "wonderful, beautiful, fat, soft armchair." They are doing this because all their old chairs burned up last year when their house was on fire. A year later they still don't have a sofa or soft chair to sit in after a hard day's work, but finally that huge jar is full. They take the coins to the bank, then buy the chair they were dreaming of.
My Take: I love provident living lesson in this story: choose a priority, work, save, be patient: then you can buy it. I also love the ridiculous chair they choose, "one covered in velvet with roses all over it." This book isn't preachy. Rather it's a comfortable tale of a family making a home of beauty and comfort with their thrift and industry.

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