A NEW COAT FOR ANNA by Harriet Ziefert
Kirkus Star


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Beskow's classic Pelle's New Suit told the story of outgrown clothing replaced by bartering labor for wool, spinning, weaving, and sewing; now Ziefert sets it in postwar Europe, where Anna's mother trades cherished possessions--a gold watch, a garnet necklace--to acquire the much-needed garment. The war is over, but shops are still empty, even of food, and no one has money. This coat is a year in the making: the wool must grow all winter while Anna shivers in her old coat, the lingonberries for the dye must ripen all summer. When the new red coat is ready at last, Anna, like Pelle, shows it off to everyone who helped make it, and on Christmas Day she returns to thank the sheep. With its boarded-up windows and winter landscapes, this is more sober than most of Lobel's work, although her flair for decorative repetition appears in subtle ways: in the herd of sheep, the hanks of yam, scenes repeated in a mirror. Pictured details, such as the shabby, cozy garret home crowded with surviving treasures and family pictures, add substantial information to the text. A warmly satisfying variation on a familiar story.

Pub Date: Oct. 6th, 1986
ISBN: 0394898613
Publisher: Knopf