THE LADY'S CHAIR AND THE OTTOMAN by Noel Tennyson
Kirkus Star

THE LADY'S CHAIR AND THE OTTOMAN

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KIRKUS REVIEW

A theatrical and interior designer makes winning characters of her former stock in trade. The red velvet ottoman yearns to join the elegant chair he glimpses in the next room, but though he boasts wheels he cannot propel himself. When the house's old lady moves on and the furniture is sold, he spends time as an unsatisfactory bench used by a grocer to reach his higher shelves, while the chair is almost demolished by the Pudneys, who ""were the type of people who use things up and buy new ones, instead of taking care of things and keeping them forever and ever."" Both are discarded and by luck meet again in a used furniture store run by Duncan Fiefe, who is the sort of person who tries to keep things forever. He delightedly discovers that the two have not only matching feet but matching upholstery underneath, and adopts them for his own use, uniting them at last. Written with wit and sophistication, this begs to be quoted or read aloud; for example, the furniture's conversation when a cup is widowed after her saucer is fractured is priceless. The soft, full-page black-and-white illustrations are kindred to Van Ailsburg's, though their style is unique. Angular forms, given drama and tension by subtle distortion; careful design leading the eye from left to right across the broad pages; and entrancing detail among the knickknacks and other accoutrements make the illustrations as interesting as the text. Though neither the language nor the plot is difficult, the sophisticated treatment makes this a special picture book to share with older children and adults.

Pub Date: Sept. 17th, 1987
Page count: 32pp
Publisher: Lothrop, Lee & Shepard