How have I missed this wonderful picture book for so many years? Does that ever happen to you? It’s such a mixture of emotions- elation- over the moon to now be able to recommend this book to others, disappointment- I would have loved to share this book with my older children when they were young, shame- as a person who values highly being aware of children’s literature and the CANON of picture books- to miss a book of this importance is quite honestly embarrassing and humbling (and it sets the flames alight in my passion to find more books of a similar calibre).
A Chair for my Mother- written by Vera B. Williams in 1982 has won multiple awards including:
Horn Book Fanfare
ALA Notable Children’s Book
Reading Rainbow Book
Boston Globe-Horn Book Award
Parents’ Choice Gold Award
Caldecott Honor Book
This colorful picturebook highlights the benefits of multi generational living and the strength of a community to overcome adversity by working together to support individuals going through difficulty. Rosa(a young American girl) and her mother lose all of their possessions in a terrible house fire. Their neighbours pitch in and donate items for their new home- my nine year old daughter claimed that this was her favorite part of the book- I suppose she resonated with recycling spirit- she often will accompany me on various trips to pass on goods (usually baby items) to low income families in our community . We always marvel at the generosity of our kind friends and feel privileged to be able to offer this “service” – it truly is a delight to be able to offer someone something that is superbly useful. We were able to make connections to low income families in Singapore through our foster care experience. It frustrates me at times that their is not a more efficient way to pass on high quality baby items which are used for such a short time and take up a large amount of space from expat families who are not keen on storing these items as they need to move on to their next posting and passing them on to community groups which cannot afford these luxurious items. So in our small way- we do what we can- if I know of someone who is having a baby and who has needs I reach out through my online networks and have been completely inundated with offers of beautiful baby rockers, muslins, you name it… Truly amazing… I DIGRESS….
What i loved most about this book was the common goal of fundraising which this family undertook. It was so encouraging to read the unfolding of their plan and the steps they undertook to achieve their desired outcome. This book has gorgeous, happy illustrations celebrating the bond of a family who perseveres through challenges.
Love to hear what other gems I have been missing- The hunt is on…