“The Little Chairs is such an unusual book that Mrs. Palmer was unable to find a publisher or an agent for it, despite the fact that she has illustrated and written books published by major companies such as Simon and Schuster. She was told children don’t understand the sort of sadness she writes about – of a daddy who sits in a dark corner ‘with sunshine going to waste outdoors,’ who doesn’t feel like eating, talking or even turning on the light. But Mrs. Palmer knows that some children will recognize the situation because they have experienced it, just like she did…In the book, the mother presents the father with a series of small wooden chairs that need coats of bright paint – yellow, blue, red and green. When the father tries to rebuff her, she insists she ‘needs’ him to help her.’ As he paints, the colors evoke thoughts of ‘butterfly wings’, ‘a bike he once had’, ‘apples and flags and Christmas bows and lipstick kisses’, and ‘trees after a storm.’ Eventually, the father’s sadness begins to lift, and though not cured, he at least feels like eating dinner with his family again. Kate’s book shows that a loving family member can reach out to someone who is troubled and let them know they are needed until they find their way back.”
- Kathryn Smith, Anderson (SC) Independent-Mail, Nov. 1999
“Palmer, a former prize-winning newspaper editorial cartoonist, is the writer and illustrator of this colorful little book, which deals sensitively with a situation children (and adults) may find very difficult and upsetting to comprehend. The illustrations are delightful, and the message is important.”
- Bill Starr, The State Newspaper (Columbia, SC), Jan. 2000
“The Little Chairs is wonderful! As a Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC) and Registered Play Therapist (RPT), this book would be an EXCELLENT tool at demonstrating cognitive-behavioral therapy and the power of changing one’s cognitions. When the dad began to think about how he COULD paint the chairs, then his affect changed and then his behavior changed…The book does a fantastic job of emphasizing how the caregiver did NOT create the depression in their loved one, therefore they can not be the one to change it. As a counselor, I can also think of an art therapy activity I would use to follow reading this book with my clients.”
- Sonya Haggerty, School Guidance Counselor, 2013
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