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ABBY’S CHAIRS by Barbara Santucci

ABBY’S CHAIRS

By Barbara Santucci (Author) , Debrah Santini (Illustrator)

Age Range: 4 - 8

Pub Date: Sept. 1st, 2004
ISBN: 0-8028-5205-X
Publisher: Eerdmans

No matter what new homeowner Abby does, she just can’t seem to figure out a pleasing arrangement for her chair collection. She visits the local hardware store and paints them vibrant new colors. She visits the local fabric store, then reupholsters in cheerful prints and lace. She checks out a library book on furniture placement and follows its guidance. Nothing works. “Maybe I just have too many chairs,” she sighs sadly, and lugs them all to her front lawn along with a handmade sign: “Free Chairs.” Soon she’s visited by each of the friendly folks she met in her efforts. One by one, they each pull a chair up in the shade (chairs that, also coincidentally, fit their own personalities), and it becomes clear that empty chairs are meaningless until there’s someone to sit in them. Over-stuffed with homespun country charm, the effort’s simple yet tenuous lesson can’t overcome its contrived plot. Ultimately, the cozy-but-slight story and repetitive watercolor art will have a tough time interesting most bored-out-of-their-seats children with its adult characters, adult situations, and adult sentiments. (Picture book. 4-8)