A Chair for My Mother
Author: Vera B. Williams
Grade Level Equivalent:
Guided Reading Level:
African American, Determination and Perseverance, Family Life, Homes and Housing
Acclaimed author/illustrator Vera Williams tells of a young girl, who along with her waitress mother, saves coins in a big jar in hopes that they can someday buy a big, new, comfortable chair for their apartment — the kind of chair her mother deserves after being on her feet all day in the Blue Tile Diner. Into the jar also goes the money Grandma saves whenever she gets a bargain at the market.
There hasn't been a comfortable place to sit in the apartment since a fire in their previous apartment burned everything to "charcoal and ashes." Friends and neighbors brought furniture to their new apartment downstairs, but no one brought anything big or soft or comfortable. Finally the jar is full, the coins are rolled, and in the book's crowning moment mother, daughter, and Grandma search four different furniture stores, and after carefully trying several chairs — like Goldilocks — they find the chair they've been dreaming of at last.
Vera Williams enhances this heartwarming story about the values of saving and working together towards a common goal, with her own pleasant, folk-art inspired paintings. Each illustration is bordered with natty patterning, foreshadowing the family's eventual acquisition of their new, magnificent chair.
A 1983 Caldecott Honor Book