Title: A Chair for Always
Author and Illustrator: Vera B. Williams
Concepts: saving, interdependence
Review: Vera Williams’ A Chair for Always marks the fourth appearance of Rosa, the girl who helped her mother and grandmother save up for a new chair in the 1983 Caldecott Honor Book A Chair for My Mother. While the main event of the book is the birth of Rosa’s new cousin Benji, the theme of the story is the importance of the hard-earned, rose-covered chair. Rosa’s mother and even her grandmother want to recover or replace the worn and stained chair. However, Rosa has other ideas and is already looking forward to telling Benji all about the chair. She reminds everyone how long it took to save the money to buy the chair and all the memories associated with it. Rosa’s outburst, “Don’t you even care about history?” demonstrates her emotional tie to the beloved chair. Rosa is so attached to the chair that she states that no matter where she goes in the future, the chair will go with her---even if she becomes president.
It has been over twenty-five years since Rosa’s last adventure, but readers who enjoyed Rosa’s close-knit family and neighbors in Williams’ three previous books about her will enjoy this touching story of the birth of a cousin and the importance of family traditions. An entire new generation of children can meet the industrious Rosa.
Review by: Rutgers University Project on Economics and Children