- Paperback: 32 pages
- Publisher: Alfred A. Knopf; Reprint edition (12 May 1988)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0394898613
- ISBN-13: 978-0394898612
- Product Dimensions: 19.6 x 0.4 x 25 cm
- Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars See all reviews (1 customer review)
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 802,863 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
A New Coat for Anna (Dragonfly Books) Paperback – 12 May 1988
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Top Customer Reviews
Finally Anna has her new red coat and loves it. Now she wants to thank all the people who helped make it possible. How does she do that? You'll have to read to find out! She even thanks the sheep!
Absolutely delightful book teaching children that money isn't everything. You can still have what you need but it may require some hard work and flexibility on your part.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
This well-written story takes the reader through a year in Anna's life, as her mother arranges to have a new coat made by bartering with her neighbors. She trades jewelry for wool, and then a lamp to have it spun. Anna and her mother pick lingonberries together, which they use to dye the yarn red. The bartering continues as the yarn is woven and then tailored into a coat.
The story concludes with a Christmas celebration, "the best they had in a long time," where Anna invites the farmer, the spinner, the weaver, and the tailor to enjoy a Christmas cake together. Anna also takes time to thank the sheep on Christmas Day.
Even the candles on the tree in Anita Lobel's cozy illustration remind me of the Christmas trees of my childhood. Whenever I share this inspiring tale with children, I wax nostalgic and tell about the candles on our trees.
"A New Coat for Anna" drives home the harsh realities of war and its impact on the daily lives of children... and their neighbors. But it's done in a heartwarming way. Highly recommended.
My daughter belongs to a FIAR (Five in a Row by Jane Claire Lambert) co-op of six 1st-2nd girls this year, and I hosted the co-op for this book. This book is featured in FIAR Volume 2, and the book has plenty of ideas for activities and discussions.
Using the FIAR book as a springboard, this is what we discussed/did:
1. WWII and how devastating it was. How difficult the aftermath of war is for ordinary people, no matter which side of the war they are on. Interestingly, we are not told where Anna and her mother live.
2. Sacrifice, how Anna's mother gave up her special treasures so that Anna would be warm, comfortable, and healthy in the winter with her new coat.
3. Sheep, how important they are to farmers in many countries because they provide milk, sheepskin, meat, and wool. Also discussed shearing. Activity: Made a spring sheep picture with a template I found on the Internet and cotton balls.
4. Measurement, metric versus U.S. Customary Unit. Activity: Measured items of their choosing in both US and metric units, and filled out a chart.
5. Dyes, how roots, nuts, and flowers were used for thousands of years to add color to clothing and make paints. Activity: Tie Dye tee shirts.
6. Bartering, its history, the problems with bartering and why it was generally replaced by money, but how Anna's mother was able to barter when she had no money.
7. Weaving, its history, some vocabulary, types of looms. Activity: Weaving on small looms I made out of foamcore. The kids wove with yarn, strips of fabric, and beads.
8. Vocabulary - clothesline, war, shear, porcelain, card, ligonberries, garnet, and weave.
This book is VERY similar to the book, "Pelle's New Suit" by Elsa Beskow, published in the 1920s, even down to the thanking of the lambs at the end! That book is also worth hunting down, the illustrations are just lovely. It could be a nice project to compare and contrast the two stories.