I just discovered today that my husband and Vera Williams share a birthday, January 28th. Vera Williams is an author I share with my students because of the way her works share the plight of everyday working people. We are saddened when Rosa's house burns in A Chair for My Mother, but rejoice with the family when the tip money her mother saves is enough to buy a chair that everyone will enjoy. Rosa returns in Something Special for Me, when she is allowed to use the earnings in the money jar to buy anything she wants for her birthday. However, instead of a gift only she can enjoy, Rosa selects something that everyone can share in. In the final book featuring Rosa, Music, Music for Everyone, Rosa and her friends play in a band to raise money for her grandmother's medical care.
Ms. Williams has won numerous awards for her work, including:
- Boston Globe-Horn Book Award for A Chair for My Mother (1983 - picture book)
- Caldecott honor for A Chair for My Mother (1983)
- Jane Addams Children's Book Award honor for Music, Music for Everyone (1985)
- Boston Globe-Horn Book honor for Cherries and Cherry Pits (1987 - picture book)
- Boston Globe-Horn Book honor for Stringbean's Trip to the Shining Sea (1988 - picture book)
- Caldecott honor for "More More More," Said the Baby (1991)
- Boston Globe-Horn Book Award for Scooter (1994 - fiction)
- Jane Addams Children's Book Award honor for Amber was Brave, Essie was Smart (2002)
- Boston Globe-Horn Book honor for Amber was Brave, Essie was Smart (2002 - fiction and poetry)
In addition to her wonderful works, I simply love this quote from an interview she gave in CBC magazine:
You can learn more about Vera Williams at these sites:
"But a book is not only words and pictures. It's a whole little world. The chosen proportions—covers, endpapers, decorations, pacing, and font (perhaps hand lettering as in More More Said the Baby), even spine and flaps—are all expressive of the particular story and its creator, who is in turn costume designer, psychologist, mayor, city planner, garden and house designer, sociologist, world changer. . . ."