Denise Mealy | The Children’s Book Review | July 25, 2019
Little Blue Chair
Written by Cary Fagan
Illustrated by Madeline Kloepper
Age Range: 3-7
Hardcover: 40 pages
Publisher: Tundra Books (2017)
What to expect: Familiar objects, stories, worldviews
This charming book is a perfect bedtime read. Comforting and sweet, LITTLE BLUE CHAIR reminds children that everything we love comes back to us in one way or another.
Boo’s favorite chair is little and blue, and it’s perfect for all the fun things he likes to do. Sitting, reading while sitting amongst daffodils, eating, and even taking a comfy nap. But when he outgrows it, his mother puts it by the street to give it away. So begins the long, colorful journey of the little blue chair that everyone ‘round the world loved. The chair goes to a junk shop, then is bought by an old woman who uses it to hold her beloved potted plant. Next it rides on a ship across the ocean, then atop an elephant to give rides to children. It lives at the carnival working on a ride, then on the ring toss game. When a boy wins it as a prize, he accidentally lets it float away by tying it to a colorful bunch of balloons. Eventually the chair floats over the land and sea back to its original home, landing in the front garden of the grown-up boy named Boo. He lovingly restores it and gifts it to his daughter.
“This chair is perfect,” she declares, and it really is.
Cary Fagan’s sparse and poignant prose has just the right touch to move this simple story along and to make the ending so moving. Children will love the idea of their favorite thing coming back to them, even if they grow up. Fagan’s lovely rhythm and the repetition of “It will be perfect,” creates a calming story that is ideal for reading before bed. The imaginative and unique illustrations of Madeline Kloepper are enchanting and diverse. I appreciated the multitude of genders and ethnicities so that any child can find representation in the story. It’s attention to detail that makes this book outstanding. Highly recommended.
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About the Author
CARY FAGAN‘s kids’ books include the popular Kaspar Snit novels, the two-volume Master Melville’s Medicine Show and the picture books Thing-Thing, Ella May and the Wishing Stone and I Wish I Could Draw. Mr. Zinger’s Hat, another of his picture books, was awarded the Marilyn Baillie Picture Book Award and the IODE Jean Throop Award. He recently won the Vicky Metcalf Award for Literature for Young People for his body of work. His books have been translated into nine languages. Cary is also the author of six novels and three story collections for adults. He was born and raised in Toronto, where he continues to live with his family.
About the Illustrator
Up-and-coming illustrator MADELINE KLOEPPER, a graduate of Emily Carr University of Art and Design, brings wise-beyond-her-years illustrations full of sweetness and curiosity to her debut picture book. Madeline grew up in the lower mainland of British Columbia amidst a sea of humans and spent a few years in Vancouver; she has since migrated northward to Prince George. Her work is influenced by childhood, nostalgia and the relationships we forge with nature, no doubt inspired by her love of exploring the Pacific Northwest.
Little Blue Chair, written by Cary Fagan and illustrated by Madeline Kloepper, was reviewed by Denise Mealy. Discover more books like Little Blue Chair by following along with our reviews and articles tagged with Picture Book.