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A New Coat for Anna by Harriet Ziefert
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A New Coat for Anna

by Harriet Ziefert

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A small book, packing a lot of power. Set in post WWII, it is obvious that people are financially struggling. Anna lives with her father. While it isn't mentioned, the reader wonders if perhaps her father was killed in the war. Anna is growing and needs a coat. With no money to purchase a new one, Anna's mother barters her precious possessions to have wool from sheep to make the coat, to have someone take the wool and spin it, to have someone weave the cloth, and then to find a tailor to make the beautiful red coat.

This is a story of patience, of love and of sacrifice.
  Whisper1 | May 19, 2015 |
The book is for young readers and is particularly interesting because on the surface it appears to just be a simple story about a young girl and her adventure to get a new coat. However, it also appears to be set in a European country after a major war. Clear connections can be made to post-war economies in war torn nations and the struggles they must go through in order to get what they need. The main character Anna also appears to have lost her father in the war. While it's not really talked about in the story, he is clearly not present and they trade his gold watch that was left to her mother. Again, the hardships that families must, at times, endure is a theme presented in this story. This book is deeper than it appears. Also, it can definitely be relatable to some students who may have lost parents for any reason and now see their family struggle to make ends meet and get the things they need.
  pbailey1980 | May 16, 2013 |
The simple but luscious illustrations move the sweet story along. Because this is a children's book only the first illustration shows the destruction and deprivation of war but even this is tempered with a smiling Anna waving to her mom who waves back.

Would definitely recommend. ( )
  Bookish59 | Oct 18, 2012 |
This is the story of a young girl who needs a new coat, but her mother doesn’t have the money to purchase one. Mom decides to barter for the resources and craftsmen to complete the garment. The illustrations are vivid and realistic. It may be too wordy for some children and it makes for a great read aloud. Teaching ideas include economics (goods and services, bartering, natural and capital resources) ( )
  lalfonso | Jun 29, 2012 |
Internet UPC Database
  tmquitshaw | Dec 26, 2011 |
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Epigraph
Dedication
A book based on a true story is best dedicated to those whose reality provided the raw material.
For Ingeborg Schraft Hoffman, M.D. who waited many months for a new coat and who showed it to me some twenty-five years later.
And in memory of her mother, Hanna Schraft, who at the start of it all had nothing - save her persistence and determination - and who in the end fashioned a beautiful gift. H.Z.
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Winter had come and Anna needed a new coat.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0394898613, Paperback)

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.  

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:04:30 -0400)

(see all 6 descriptions)

Even though there is no money, Anna's mother finds a way to make Anna a badly needed winter coat.

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