A Chair for Always

Overview

There are some things that Rosa just knows. She knows that she can't wait to meet her new baby cousin, due to be born at any minute right upstairs. She knows that she will grow up and move away and maybe go to college, and perhaps even become the president of the United States. And she knows that the chair—that wonderful, beautiful, beloved chair, the chair for her mother—will always be there.

Always.

Just the...

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Overview

There are some things that Rosa just knows. She knows that she can't wait to meet her new baby cousin, due to be born at any minute right upstairs. She knows that she will grow up and move away and maybe go to college, and perhaps even become the president of the United States. And she knows that the chair—that wonderful, beautiful, beloved chair, the chair for her mother—will always be there.

Always.

Just the way it is. Covered in velvet with roses all over it, ready for who-knows-what new adventure . . .

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly

In this satisfying companion to Williams's Caldecott Honor book, A Chair for My Mother, bighearted Rosa welcomes Benji, the son of her Aunt Ida, into the family-and into its beloved armchair splashed with roses. While a midwife delivers the baby upstairs, restless Rosa curls up in the chair ("Our chair is a lucky chair") and contentedly imagines sharing her life with a young cousin. And when Rosa's mother and grandmother consider reupholstering or replacing the chair, she determinedly tells her mother that the chair must remain as is and that it will accompany her wherever she goes (Williams humorously illustrates her vow with an image of Rosa lugging the overstuffed piece of furniture on a mountain hike). Soft, brightly colored gouache art, hemmed in by borders that feature a cheery array of images and patterns, affectingly captures the close bond among family members as they celebrate a new arrival and an old friend: Rosa's treasured chair. The bustling scenes of family life that stuff the pages of this warm intergenerational story should prove irresistible. Ages 3-8. (May)

Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Children's Literature - Ken Marantz and Sylvia Marantz
Rosa, the young narrator of the other books about the classic Chair for My Mother, returns for another visit with her family and friends. Her mother still works at the Blue Tile Diner, and Rosa and her grandmother wait up for her in the well-worn chair. The drama here concerns the birth of her Aunt Ida and Uncle Sandy's baby. Since they live upstairs and have decided to have the baby at home, Rosa is very excited and impatient to have to wait downstairs during the birth. Drowsing in her "lucky chair," she imagines all the things she might do with the baby. She is then invited upstairs to meet her new cousin. Everyone is happy helping with the baby, especially Rosa. But her grandmother thinks that the chair is too shabby for him. Rosa, however, remembers the chair's history, and wants no changes. "…wherever I go, this chair goes too!" she insists. Her mother's love stays with her as well. Gouache paintings effectively express the emotions of this family affair. Williams depicts the interactions in her unsophisticated style, setting the scenes in decorative borders that add to the comforting security. The overstuffed chair with its flower-decked cover is not only an actor, but closes the tale with Rosa comfortably sprawled across both arms. The heart-warming story is also available in Spanish as Un sillon para siempre in both trade and paper binding. Reviewer: Ken Marantz and Sylvia Marantz
School Library Journal

Gr 2-4

In her fourth book about Rosa, Williams once again devises a tale filled with warmth and vitality. With Aunt Ida and Uncle Sandy living upstairs, the girl welcomes their newborn into the family. She participates in caring for Benji, and even plans for the fun they will have as he grows older. The story's central focus, however, is Rosa's beloved, velvet-rose-covered chair. Grandma suggests that the worn and stained fabric needs replacing, and her mother mentions buying a new one. Rosa puts down her foot. "Don't you even care about history?" she responds, reminding her mother how they bought the chair with saved dimes and quarters, and how it is now a part of the family. Even if she becomes president and moves to the White House, Rosa claims, the chair will go too. Her mother hugs her and replies, "Rosa, you sure do say the strangest things." Rich watercolor illustrations featuring the child and her extended family give a comfortable feeling to this heartfelt tale. In this national economic turndown, a story that emphasizes sharing with family and friends and realizing what is important in everyday life will be a welcome choice, and children who have loved Rosa before will find this book equally appealing-Barbara Elleman, Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art, Amherst, MA

Kirkus Reviews
Yes, good things do come to those who wait! It's been more than 25 years since A Chair for My Mother was published and won a 1983 Caldecott Honor. Now Rosa and the chair return. Two previous books about Rosa, Something Special for Me (1983) and Music, Music for Everyone (1984), follow the first but focus on her choosing a special birthday present and joining a band to earn money to help her mom when her grandmother is sick. In this companion story, Rosa waits for the birth of her baby cousin, who is being delivered at home by a midwife. The ingenuous text captures Rosa's excitement as she sits in her mother's chair and imagines Baby filling out her combo. After Baby Benji arrives, Grandma and Mama both suggest replacing the old chair, but Rosa demonstrates the staunch conservatism of the very young-"Don't you even care about history?"-and the role of the chair in this close family circle happily continues. As the narrative weaves all the stories together, Williams's inimitable gouache illustrations personalize the family members in this very satisfying tale. (Picture book. 4-8)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780061722806
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 5/12/2009
  • Format: Library Binding
  • Pages: 40
  • Age range: 4 - 8 Years
  • Product dimensions: 8.10 (w) x 10.10 (h) x 0.50 (d)

Meet the Author

Vera B. Williams is the award-winning creator of many books for children, including "More, More, More," Said the Baby: Three Love Stories and Amber Was Brave, Essie Was Smart. She lives in New York City.

Vera B. Williams es la premiada creadora de numerosos libros infantiles, entre ellos "Más Más Más" dijo el bebe. Vive en la ciudad de Nueva York.

Vera B. Williams is the award-winning creator of many books for children, including "More, More, More," Said the Baby: Three Love Stories and Amber Was Brave, Essie Was Smart. She lives in New York City.

Vera B. Williams es la premiada creadora de numerosos libros infantiles, entre ellos "Más Más Más" dijo el bebe. Vive en la ciudad de Nueva York.

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