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A New Coat for Anna [Paperback]

By Harriet Ziefert (Author)
Our Price $ 5.59  
Retail Value $ 7.99  
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Item Number 71616  
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Item description for A New Coat for Anna by Harriet Ziefert...

Follows the sacrifices and hardships of a mother who barters cherished possessions with a shepherd, a spinner, a weaver, and a tailor to get her daughter a winter coat

Publishers Description
Illus. in full color. "A fresh and moving story of a mother's dedication to acquire a coat for her daughter in post-World War II hard times. Anna's mother decides to trade the few valuables she has left for wool and for the services of a spinner, a weaver, and a tailor. Lobel's pictures do a tremendous job of evoking the period. Insightful and informative, this may make children consider how precious the ordinary can become in times of turmoil."--(starred) "Booklist. "

Citations And Professional Reviews
A New Coat for Anna by Harriet Ziefert has been reviewed by professional book reviewers and journalists at the following establishments -
  • Publishers Weekly - 01/29/1988
  • Wilson Children's Catalog - 01/01/1991 page 743
  • Wilson Children's Catalog 96 - 01/01/1996 page 766
  • Wilson Children's Catalog - 01/01/2001 page 730

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Item Specifications...

Studio: Dragonfly Books
Pages   40
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 9.95" Width: 7.86" Height: 0.17"
Weight:   0.35 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   May 12, 1988
Publisher   Dragonfly Books
Age  4-8
ISBN  0394898613  
ISBN13  9780394898612  

Availability  0 units.

More About Harriet Ziefert

Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! Harriet Ziefert was born in New Jersey. She grew up in North Bergen, New Jersey, where she attended the local schools. She graduated from Smith College, then received a Masters degree in Education from New York University.

Harriet Ziefert's many books include A New Coat for Anna, the Hello Reading series and the Lift-the-Flap books, as well as picture books such as With Love from Grandma, and board books, including Dress Little Bunny and Feed Little Bunny.

Ms. Ziefert was educated at Smith College and New York University. She has taught every elementary school grade, from preschool to grade six and is the author of a widely-used early childhood education program for language arts, reading, and social studies.

Ms. Ziefert lives in Maplewood, New Jersey and Lincoln, Massachusetts. She has two adult sons.

Harriet Ziefert currently resides in Maplewood, in the state of New Jersey.

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Product Categories

1Books > Subjects > Children > Ages 4-8 > General
2Books > Subjects > Children > Ages 4-8 > Picture Books
3Books > Subjects > Children > History & Historical Fiction > Fiction > Military & Wars
4Books > Subjects > Children > People & Places > Family Life > Parents > Fiction
5Books > Subjects > Nonfiction > Education > Homeschooling > General

Christian Product Categories
Books > Education (K-12) > General Education > General
Books > Education (K-12) > General Education > Readers

Homeschool Catalog Product Categories
Books > Homeschool > Reading & Character Building > Historical Fiction

Reviews - What do customers think about A New Coat for Anna?

Wonderful book, springboard for a lot of interesting discussions...  Mar 30, 2007
This is a sweet story about how a little girl gets a new coat during the difficult years after World War II. Her resourceful mother must trade some of her treasures to get the wool, the spinning, the weaving, and the sewing done for Anna's new coat.

My daughter belongs to a FIAR (Five in a Row by Jane Claire Lambert) co-op of six 1st-2nd girls this year, and I hosted the co-op for this book. This book is featured in FIAR Volume 2, and the book has plenty of ideas for activities and discussions.

Using the FIAR book as a springboard, this is what we discussed/did:

1. WWII and how devastating it was. How difficult the aftermath of war is for ordinary people, no matter which side of the war they are on. Interestingly, we are not told where Anna and her mother live.

2. Sacrifice, how Anna's mother gave up her special treasures so that Anna would be warm, comfortable, and healthy in the winter with her new coat.

3. Sheep, how important they are to farmers in many countries because they provide milk, sheepskin, meat, and wool. Also discussed shearing. Activity: Made a spring sheep picture with a template I found on the Internet and cotton balls.

4. Measurement, metric versus U.S. Customary Unit. Activity: Measured items of their choosing in both US and metric units, and filled out a chart.

5. Dyes, how roots, nuts, and flowers were used for thousands of years to add color to clothing and make paints. Activity: Tie Dye tee shirts.

6. Bartering, its history, the problems with bartering and why it was generally replaced by money, but how Anna's mother was able to barter when she had no money.

7. Weaving, its history, some vocabulary, types of looms. Activity: Weaving on small looms I made out of foamcore. The kids wove with yarn, strips of fabric, and beads.

8. Vocabulary - clothesline, war, shear, porcelain, card, ligonberries, garnet, and weave.

This book is VERY similar to the book, "Pelle's New Suit" by Elsa Beskow, published in the 1920s, even down to the thanking of the lambs at the end! That book is also worth hunting down, the illustrations are just lovely. It could be a nice project to compare and contrast the two stories.

Excellent, inspiring  Mar 15, 2006
Though my children are Spanish-speaking toddlers, they've appreciated this book and understand its warm and true message. It's beautiful, inspiring. Highly recommended.
Terrific Post-War Upbeat Book  Aug 1, 2003
This book is a classic, and was taped by Barbara Bush as part of the Presidential Literacy Project. It begins in a post-war environment, where no one has any money. The story is not only about how a coat is made, but also about how Anna's mother trades her posessions for wool and the services of the spinner, weaver, and tailor in order to make the coat. It culminates at a Christmas party, where all of the people who helped to make the coat are invited to Anna's house, and she even goes back to thank the sheep. The illustrations are well done, and the repetitive text makes it a story that is appropriate for children from 3yrs.(my son's age) to second graders which I have taught.
About Anna's New Coat  Jan 3, 2001
A New Coat for Anna is a good book because it shows the cycle of making a coat. The book shows how hard it was to get a coat long ago in World War II. I think it is very educational. I bet there are lots of other people who really want to read this book. I liked this book because it was interesting how Anna's mother had to use her special things to help Anna get a coat. She had to trade the things because there wasn't much money because of the war. At the end, Anna celebrated with everybody that helped her make her coat because she was so happy that she had a new coat. I am eight and I love the book.
A heart-warming story about the harsh realities of war  Oct 11, 2000
As the post-war child of a family that suffered through World War II in the Netherlands, I can say that "A New Coat for Anna" has the ring of authenticity. In many ways, it reminds me of first-hand stories I heard from my parents and older siblings about the hardships--and the creativity--of ordinary people during those very difficult years.

This well-written story takes the reader through a year in Anna's life, as her mother arranges to have a new coat made by bartering with her neighbors. She trades jewelry for wool, and then a lamp to have it spun. Anna and her mother pick lingonberries together, which they use to dye the yarn red. The bartering continues as the yarn is woven and then tailored into a coat.

The story concludes with a Christmas celebration, "the best they had in a long time," where Anna invites the farmer, the spinner, the weaver, and the tailor to enjoy a Christmas cake together. Anna also takes time to thank the sheep on Christmas Day.

Even the candles on the tree in Anita Lobel's cozy illustration remind me of the Christmas trees of my childhood. Whenever I share this inspiring tale with children, I wax nostalgic and tell about the candles on our trees.

"A New Coat for Anna" drives home the harsh realities of war and its impact on the daily lives of children... and their neighbors. But it's done in a heartwarming way. Highly recommended.


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