reviews of My Chair

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I consider what's fair postcard

In my chair I consider what's fair

I like to draw, I always draw, I practice drawing a LOT. The story of My Chair began with practice drawings. I decided to practice drawing children.

Using chairs as a theme, I drew children reading, cuddling, daydreaming, hiding, eating, and playing in, on, and under their chairs. I compiled them into a picture book dummy (sketches in the shape of a book) with simple descriptive sentences, such as the one above. I painted this postcard and sent it to some editors and art directors.

One editor, Arthur Levine at Scholastic, pointed out that my little book was really a list and not a story. He suggested that we ask Betsy James if she could find a story in the pictures.

Wow! did Betsy find a story! Her story involved CROWDS of wiggly children and LOTS of chairs. It was a beautiful story. And it was not at all like my sketches of solitary children.

How would I invent all of these characters?
I decided to shrink all of the grownups I know down to kid-size and put them in the book! That would make me laugh :-)

I started with my two sisters and four brothers; that's a crowd!





My Chair
written by Betsy James
illustrated by Mary Newell DePalma
Arthur A. Levine Books/Scholastic 2005
ISBN 0-439-44421-7




boy playing under chair


reading chair

measure up!

Mary, B, and Jean

These drawings are no longer solitary...

B making a face

...and the characters definitely have personality!

Jean on a box

my chair is squishy

See another illustration from the book here.


The book is full of silliness and good fun, and there's a surprise at the end!