cover image The Old Red Rocking Chair

The Old Red Rocking Chair

Phyllis Root. Arcade Publishing, $14.95 (32pp) ISBN 978-1-55970-063-4

When Martha Jenkins buys a new blue sofa she decides to throw out her ancient red rocking chair. In so doing she unwittingly sets off a chain of events that gives her trusted old chair a new lease on life. From one home to another it passes, slowly losing its arms, cushion, back and rockers, thus appealing to each of the eagle-eyed individuals who rescue it from the garbage. The series inevitably circles around again to Martha, who carries the transformed chair home from a yard sale ``and admired how well her sofa matched her new blue footstool.'' While the premise is hardly new (cf. Rob Lewis's The White Bicycle ), Root's cheerfulness and lucid logic propel the story. The passing seasons, captured in both prose and robust illustrations, are a pleasurable bonus--as is the book's subtle recycling message. Sandford presents a likably eccentric cast and evokes small-town life in his warm, softly textured artwork. The dark, rich, painterly illustrations spark this cozy ``life goes on'' parable. Ages 4-8. (May)