Sunday, November 11, 2012

Staff Picks

Joseph Had a Little Overcoat by Simms Taback

Joseph’s favorite overcoat is worn out, so what can he do?  To keep the tattered and patched garment in service, he resorts to altering it into a jacket.  But through daily chores on the farm, the jacket too becomes old and worn.  Joseph must resort again to altering his garment; this time it becomes a vest.  And so the tale, Joseph Had a Little Overcoat, a children’s picture book about early 20th century Eastern European farm life with the loveable Joseph by Simms Taback, proceeds from page to page as the well-worn piece of clothing becomes increasingly smaller as it transforms through an array of apparel until it is finally gone.  In the end, Joseph, ever the optimist, makes “something out of nothing” as he sits down to share the tale by writing a book about his versatile, shrinking, changeable overcoat.

The colorful artwork consists of collages of patterns, vividly bright and pleasantly warm colors, simplistic cartoon lines, and the addition of small photographic images incorporated throughout the pictures.  Your child will enjoy poring over each page for several minutes to take in all the detail that the illustrations provide about Joseph.  Die cuts further add to the reading enjoyment, as readers flip the page to reveal the new and abbreviated garment that Joseph has created next.  One will likely be reading this story over and over to young children who will be delighted by the endearing and innovative Joseph and his tattered yet beautifully rich overcoat.

Julie Boyd
Information Specialist--Youth Services