A Chair For My Mother


Image Credit: Greenwillow Books, Vera B. Williams

There are many people around the world who consider A Chair for My Mother a classic; perhaps they grew up with this book and special memories are associated with it. For me, this book is brand new. Nevertheless, I’m grateful for knowing it now and being able to share it here, with you.

What a sweet book this is. A young girl’s mother works hard every day at the Blue Tile Diner and all she wants to do is make her mother more comfortable. Their house was ruined in a big fire but their community came together to support them with a new home and beautiful items to fill it. Though they have many new things, they still don’t have a big comfy chair. So, they work together to fill a large glass jar with left over change, so that one day they can buy the most comfortable and beautiful chair to rest in. This story of family and community is diverse and relatable; the girl’s mother is a single mother and works hard to support her family.

Williams’ watercolor illustrations are warm and inviting. She uses bright colors and every scene is framed with a sweet border, as if the pictures are in a frame. The image below is my favorite; mother is tired but peaceful, resting on the table with her shoes off while Grandmother and her granddaughter smile and add coins to the jar. I’d say that A Chair for My Mother is perfect for Mother’s Day but since Mother’s Day is really every day, take time to enjoy this book with your family.


Image Credit: Greenwillow Books, Vera B. Williams


Recommended for: Kindergarten and up
Great for: We Need Diverse Books, Family, Community, Caldecott, Single Mothers, Reaching Goals
Book Info: A Chair for My Mother by Vera B. Williams, 1982 Greenwillow Books, ISBN: 9780688009144


I Need a Lunch Box


HarperTrophy (HarperCollins), Pat Cummings/Jeannette Caines

Do you remember the feeling of getting a shiny new lunch box for school? Maybe you were pumped to take it to school and show it off; ready to whip it out when the lunch bell rang.  I mean, I’m still pretty excited about my Sailor Moon lunchbox… 😉

I Need A Lunchbox was one of my favorite books growing up because I thought the story was funny and I loved the funky, bright lunch boxes. The story starts out with a young boy who has a case of “lunchbox envy.” See, his older sister is about to start school and she gets a new lunch box but he can’t get one until he starts school. He’s tempted by all the awesome lunch boxes in the store and his sister definitely rubs in the fact that she has a ton of shiny, new school supplies. He’s quite envious and the poor boy starts to dream about a lunch box for every day of the week! I Need A Lunchbox is also great because it introduces some primary colors and days of the week to younger children.

Pat Cumming’s illustrations are delightful, bright and neon-colored fun. She has some GREAT lunchbox designs that I’d buy in a heartbeat; black and white cats on a bright green background? Yes, please! A Whale lunchbox? I’ll take that one as well. I Need a Lunchbox is a cute story about a determined little boy who has great taste in lunch boxes.

P.S. This book *may* be out of print so check online, at used bookstores and your local library!

Recommended for: Toddlers to 1st/2nd Grade
Great for: We Need Diverse Books, Family, Colors, Days of the Week, Siblings, African-American
Book Info: I Need a Lunchbox by Jeannette Caines/Illustrated by Pat Cummings, 1988 HarperTrophy (HarperCollins), ISBN: 9780064433419