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My Chair

Written by Betsy James

Illustrated by Mary Newell DePalma


If every writer needs a clean, well-lighted place to write, then every child needs a chair to dream. 

Anyone who’s watched the genius of a child’s imagination at work knows how powerful a prop can be: A tire becomes a swinging trapeze; a folding chair is a boat at sea.

Here a group of children turn the simple act of gathering chairs for a party into a free-spirited improvisation bursting with everyday poetry and backyard theater. Each child’s chair is something special – a cave that can hold all the treasure of the world; a monster that eats pens and coins and someone’s little brother; an elephant, higher than the yappiest dog.

Every child deserves a chair - a place to play and a place to belong. And every child deserves My Chair.


2004 NYPL 100 Titles for Reading and Sharing
IRA Children's Choice

"Imaginative vignettes, a genuinely childlike perspective, and absorbing illustrations with an expressively drawn cast of characters distinguish this surprising flight of fancy." - Booklist

"James captures the freewheeling nature of youthful imagination in her protagonists' approach to seating, and her reliance on snug, specific details will speak to young audiences." - Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books

"This unique book offers a lively depiction of community caring and imaginative play." - School Library Journal

"In a tradition stretching from Ruth Krauss' A Hole Is to Dig (1952) to Elizabeth Scanlon's A Sock Is a Pocket for Your Toes, here's another "just right" invitation to see the uncommon possibilities in commonplace objects." - Kirkus Reviews


Purchase Options
Amazon • Barnes & Noble


Summer 2004
Picture Book
ISBN: 0-439-44421-7
Price: $16.95/$24.99
Trim Size: 10" x 11"
Page Count: 40 SE
Foreign Rights: Scholastic
Translation Rights: Scholastic
Rights Available? yes


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