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Down the Back of the Chair
Margaret Mahy
Illustrated by Polly Dunbar
Picture Book
Ages 5 to 8
Clarion, 2006, 0-618-69395-5
  A father is at his wits end. He has lost his keys, his family is in dire need of an influx of cash, and all in all Dad’s morning “is a blue one.” Poor Dad is ripping out what remains of his sparse hair when little Mary suggests that they should look “down the back of the chair” for this is where she finds all kinds of things. Not having anything else he can do Dad decides to give the chair a try and the most amazing number and variety of things come out of the large-backed floral-printed piece of furniture.
  The search begins with Dad finding a piece of string and a diamond ring. He then goes on retrieve such treasures as a pirate with his treasure map, a large dragon, a lion, a pair of tea-drinking elephants, and then, to the delight of the entire family, Dad pulls out what will surely be the family’s salvation.
  Written in a bouncy rhyming format, this picture book is sure to put a smile on any face. The clever and often comical multimedia artwork was created using cut papers of all kinds, watercolors, and ink pen. Anyone who has lost sundry items down the back of a chair or sofa will completely understand how someone might find something truly precious in this black hole zone of the household.

Down the Back of the Chair


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