THE RING AND THE WINDOW SEAT by Amy Hest

THE RING AND THE WINDOW SEAT

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Old Aunt Stella tells Annie about a long-ago birthday when she had hoped to buy herself a ring with money she'd been saving for months. A storm kept her home, cancelled her birthday party--and brought George, a carpenter, to the door for shelter. George told Stella's family that he was saving money to send for his daughter Karin, who was hiding from the Nazis "with other Jewish children from our village," and he stayed to build the window seat on which Annie and Stella now sit. Stella secretly slipped her money into George's pack; much later Karin, safe in America, sent her the coveted ring--which Stella now gives Annie for her birthday. The story reads well, but Karin's danger is so briefly introduced that its cause--only slightly amplified in the accompanying illustration--will be enigmatic to younger readers; and the conclusion is truncated by Stella's refusal to tell Annie what happened to Karin afterwards ("That's another story"). New illustrator Haeffele provides an adequate realistic interpretation, though some of her figures are wooden. Recommended by the publisher for ages 8--12, yet, in lavish picture-book format, this is a story that had potential but lacks focus on both its subject and its audience.

Pub Date: Nov. 1st, 1990
ISBN: 590-41350-3
Page count: 32pp
Publisher: Scholastic
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