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Groundwood Books

The Bad Chair

Written by Dasha Tolstikova

For students in grades P - 2 | Published October 27, 2020 | ISBN 9781773062464
JUVENILE FICTION / Imagination & Play

Cover of The Bad Chair

Regular price $18.95 CAD

40 pages | 9.75 in × 8.5 in
Print Format

Also Available as an Ebook

About this book

The Bad Chair

Dasha Tolstikova

A fresh and funny picture book about feeling left out and the power of friendship, from the author and illustrator of A Year Without Mom.

Every evening before brushing their teeth and getting ready for bed, Vivi and Monkey play the game: Monkey hides under a sheet, and Vivi pretends to look for him. Every evening, Chair wishes more than anything that he could play, too.

One night, Chair decides to make Monkey late for the game so that Vivi will look for Chair instead. But nothing goes quite according to plan. Instead of looking for Chair, Vivi grows increasingly worried about Monkey. She gathers witnesses for questioning, and Chair could be the key to her investigation. But if Vivi finds Monkey, will she still want to be friends with Chair?

This sweet, funny story about friendship will encourage young readers to empathize with those feeling left out. Kids will delight in Dasha’s simple yet sophisticated illustrations.

About the Author

Dasha Tolstikova

Dasha Tolstikova is the author and illustrator of the graphic memoir A Year Without Mom, which was a Kirkus Best Middle-Grade Book of the Year, a USBBY Outstanding International Books selection, and received four starred reviews. Dasha has illustrated several picture books, including Violet and the Woof by Rebecca Grabill, Friend or Foe? by John Sobol and The Jacket by Kirsten Hall. Her illustrations have also appeared in the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal and the New Yorker. She lives in Brooklyn, New York. The Bad Chair is the first picture book Dasha has written and illustrated.

Awards and Praise

Praise for Dasha Tolstikova and The Bad Chair:

“… a clever representation of all-too-real feelings of the young. Bright, expressive illustrations add to the chuckle-worthy drama.” — Kirkus Reviews

“Certain to become a go-to read-aloud choice for educators, librarians, and parents alike when seeking to promote the importance of inclusion.” — CM: Canadian Review of Materials

“[C]heery, naïf-style artwork.” — Publishers Weekly

“[U]nique, nuanced artwork.”— School Library Journal

Praise for Dasha Tolstikova and A Year Without Mom:

“Tolstikova’s delightful drawings vibrate with nervous life against stark washes of gray and black. She nails her characters with telling gestures and cheeks shading, revealingly, from white to red.” — Maria Russo, New York Times Book Review

“[The illustrations] are deceptively simple, but with great narrative sophistication, they capture both the specificity of Dasha’s experience and the universality of her emotions. The text is likewise unadorned and effective […] Fascinating and heartfelt.” — Kirkus, starred review

“[An] absorbing graphic memoir… Readers will wish the sequel were available instantly.” — Publisher’s Weekly, starred review

“A lovely portrayal in words and art.” — School Library Journal, starred review

“… an accessible, truthful, and relatable record for readers of a different generation.” — Horn Book, starred review

Praise for illustrator Dasha Tolstikova and author Kirsten Hall for The Jacket:

“The beauty of Tolstikova’s pastel-tinged illustrations, whose manner changes from page to page and suggests both childlike simplicity and a quiet mastery of modernist color and design, shows there’s more to a book than its concept.” — Mark Levine, New York Times Book Review. Also listed as an Editors’ Choice.

“The mixed-media illustrations do a beautiful job of capturing such things as the interior of a bookstore, the girl’s love for both her companions...Book’s understanding of the girl’s love for her dog is a particularly poignant inclusion, both textually and visually.” — Kirkus Reviews

“Debut talent Tolstikova’s mixed-media artwork reveals a knack for emotional range.” — Publisher’s Weekly

Praise for illustrator Dasha Tolstikova and author John Sobol for Friend or Foe?:

“A solid addition for most libraries; hand this one to fans of Mac Barnett and Jon Klassen’s Sam and Dave Dig a Hole.” — School Library Journal

“A charming modern-day fable, without a simplistic moral, about what makes for and what undoes the sense of otherness.” — Brain Pickings

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