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Books To Read In Kindergarten

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A Chair for My Mother

Image of A Chair for My Mother
Author: Vera B. Williams
Publisher: Greenwillow Books (1982)
Binding: Hardcover, 32 pages
Item Call Number: 
E WILLI

A child, her waitress mother, and her grandmother save dimes to buy a comfortable armchair after all their furniture is lost in a fire.

Questions to talk about with your child: 
How would you feel if you lost all your things in a fire? What do you think you would miss the most?
How do the pages with the fire look different than the rest of the pages in the book? Why do you think the author chose to illustrate the pages this way?
When the family moved into their new apartment, what did neighbors and friends do to help?
What kind of chair do the girl and her mother want to buy?
Fun things to do together: 
See how long it takes to fill a jar with coins. Guess (predict, estimate) how many coins it will take to fill the jar.
Count and sort coins into separate piles: pennies, nickels, dimes, etc. Go to the bank and get paper rolls for your coins and wrap them together.
Design a room together. Use pictures from magazines or draw pictures of the different furniture and decorations you would like to have in this room.
Help your child make a savings plan for something he or she would like to have. Work together on a simple graph to show how much must be saved each day, week, or month to be able to purchase the item.
Book Skills
New Words (Vocabulary): 
This more complex picture book story has a few words not common to picture book stories you can look up and discuss with your child: bargain, armchair, charcoal, ashes, furniture.
Tell A Story (Narrative Skills): 
The author starts with the coin jar, recalls a past event in simple flashback (the fire and the new apartment), and then goes on to tell the full story of the jar of coins. Explain this time shift to your child and help them understand a story can go backward (flashback) and forward again to explain an event.