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DOWN THE BACK OF THE CHAIR by Margaret Mahy Kirkus Star


by Margaret Mahy & illustrated by Polly Dunbar

Pub Date: June 12th, 2006
ISBN: 0-618-69395-5
Publisher: Clarion Books

A comfy armchair upholstered in a brightly flowered print is the hiding place for a fantastic range of surprises in this rollicking, rhyming treat from the uniquely talented Mahy, winner of the 2006 Hans Christian Andersen Award. “Down the back of the chair” is the repeated refrain as a father and his children search for some missing keys, uncovering all sorts of animals, artifacts and leftovers in the mysterious depths of the seemingly enchanted chair. They find missing household items (including one of their infant twins) and a whole menagerie of creatures, from a smiling snake to a pair of blue elephants drinking tea. The enumeration of hidden items ends with the discovery of an uncle’s long-long will as well as his piggy bank, assuring the family’s financial future. Dunbar’s delightfully loose illustrations in watercolor and cut paper provide a satisfying complement to Mahy’s poem, with whimsical creatures, juicy colors and lots of motion to match the kinetic energy of the text. (Picture book. 3-6)