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A New Coat for Anna (Dragonfly Books) Paperback – 12 May 1988

5 out of 5 stars 1 customer review

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Product details

  • 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)

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Winter had come and Anna needed a new coat. Read the first page
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: School & Library Binding
Based on a true story, the war has just ended so money is short. Anna is in need of a new coat so Anna's mother has to get inventive. With a few of her treasures we read how Anna's mother first approaches the farmer asking if he will trade some wool for a gold watch. The farmer agrees but says that they will have to wait until next spring when the sheep are sheared so no quick fix for Anna for this winter. The story continues, with each person agreeing to trade and each one keeping his or her word.

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.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) HASH(0x969a61d4) out of 5 stars 37 reviews
30 of 30 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9539e444) out of 5 stars A heart-warming story about the harsh realities of war 11 Oct. 2000
By X. Libris - Published on
Format: Paperback
As the post-war child of a family that suffered through World War II in the Netherlands, I can say that "A New Coat for Anna" has the ring of authenticity. In many ways, it reminds me of first-hand stories I heard from my parents and older siblings about the hardships--and the creativity--of ordinary people during those very difficult years.
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.
18 of 18 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xaab1ca74) out of 5 stars Wonderful book, springboard for a lot of interesting discussions... 29 Mar. 2007
By Learning All The Time - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is a sweet story about how a little girl gets a new coat during the difficult years after World War II. Her resourceful mother must trade some of her treasures to get the wool, the spinning, the weaving, and the sewing done for Anna's new coat.

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.
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xaab25cc0) out of 5 stars Terrific Post-War Upbeat Book 31 July 2003
By Sharon Russell - Published on
Format: Paperback
This book is a classic, and was taped by Barbara Bush as part of the Presidential Literacy Project. It begins in a post-war environment, where no one has any money. The story is not only about how a coat is made, but also about how Anna's mother trades her posessions for wool and the services of the spinner, weaver, and tailor in order to make the coat. It culminates at a Christmas party, where all of the people who helped to make the coat are invited to Anna's house, and she even goes back to thank the sheep. The illustrations are well done, and the repetitive text makes it a story that is appropriate for children from 3yrs.(my son's age) to second graders which I have taught.
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9539e7e0) out of 5 stars Anna must wait for a long time for her new coat. 2 Oct. 1998
By A Customer - Published on
Format: Paperback
This story takes place right after World War II. Anna needs a new coat, but her mother has no money and the stores are empty. Anna's mother decides to trade the few valuables she has left for a coat. The story takes us to the sheep farm, the spinner, the weaver and the tailor. When Anna finally gets her beautiful new red coat, she has a celebration and invites all the people that helped to make it. I am 6 years old and I learned that things were very hard for people then but they did not lose hope. The pictures in this book are nice, especially the ones with the sheep.
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9539e690) out of 5 stars It was interesting and sad. 20 May 1999
By A Customer - Published on
Format: Paperback
I read this book in my third grade reading class. The best part was when Anna fed the sheep apples and gave them paper necklaces. It was sad because they didn't have enough money to buy her a new coat.
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