Cover image for Joseph had a little overcoat
Title:
Joseph had a little overcoat
Author:
Taback, Simms.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
New York : Viking, 1999.
Physical Description:
1 volume (unpaged) : color illustrations, music ; 28 cm
Summary:
A very old overcoat is recycled numerous times into a variety of garments.
General Note:
Based on " ... a Yiddish folk song ..."

"With new illustrations"--Prelim. p.

Art techniques used: A bold and humorous combination of watercolor, gouache, pencil, ink and collage.
Language:
English
Reading Level:
BR Lexile.
Program Information:
Accelerated Reader AR LG 1.7 0.5 35829.

Reading Counts RC K-2 1.9 1 Quiz: 21128 Guided reading level: I.
ISBN:
9780670878550
Format :
Book

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On Order

Summary

Summary

Joseph had a little overcoat, but it was full of holes - just like this book! When Joseph's coat got too old and shabby, he made it into a jacket. But what did he make it into after that? And after that? As children turn the pages of this book, they can use the die-cut holes to guess what Joseph will be making next from his amazing overcoat, while they laugh at the bold, cheerful artwork and learn that you can always make something, even out of nothing.


Author Notes

Simms Taback was born on February 13, 1932 in New York City. Before serving two years in the Army, he graduated from Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art in 1953. He worked as an art director at CBS Records and The New York Times and as an advertising art director at William Douglas McAdams. He designed and illustrated the first McDonald's Happy Meal box in the 1970s.

During his lifetime, he was the illustrator and occasional author of about 50 children's books including There Was an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Fly, Joseph Had a Little Overcoat, which won the Caldecott Medal in 2000, and Postcards from Camp. He died of pancreatic cancer on December 25, 2011 at the age of 79.

(Bowker Author Biography)


Reviews 3

Booklist Review

Ages 4^-7. This newly illustrated version of a book Taback first published in 1977 is a true example of accomplished bookmaking--from the typography and the endpapers to the bar code, set in what appears to be a patch of fabric. Taback's mixed-media and collage illustrations are alive with warmth, humor, and humanity. Their colors are festive yet controlled, and they are filled with homey clutter, interesting characters, and a million details to bring children back again and again. The simple text, which was adapted from the Yiddish song "I Had a Little Overcoat," begins as Joseph makes a jacket from his old, worn coat. When the jacket wears out, Joseph makes a vest, and so on, until he has only enough to cover a button. Cut outs emphasize the use and reuse of the material and add to the general sense of fun. When Joseph loses, he writes a story about it all, bringing children to the moral "You can always make something out of nothing." --Tim Arnold


Publisher's Weekly Review

As in his Caldecott Honor book, There Was an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Fly, Taback's inventive use of die-cut pages shows off his signature artwork, here newly created for his 1977 adaptation of a Yiddish folk song. This diverting, sequential story unravels as swiftly as the threads of Joseph's well-loved, patch-covered plaid coat. A flip of the page allows children to peek through to subsequent spreads as Joseph's tailoring produces items of decreasing size. The author puts a droll spin on his narrative when Joseph loses the last remnant of the coatÄa buttonÄand decides to make a book about it. "Which shows... you can always make something out of nothing," writes Taback, who wryly slips himself into his story by depicting Joseph creating a dummy for the book that readers are holding. Still, it's the bustling mixed-media artwork, highlighted by the strategically placed die-cuts, that steals the show. Taback works into his folk art a menagerie of wide-eyed animals witnessing the overcoat's transformation, miniature photographs superimposed on paintings and some clever asides reproduced in small print (a wall hanging declares, "Better to have an ugly patch than a beautiful hole"; a newspaper headline announces, "Fiddler on Roof Falls off Roof"). With its effective repetition and an abundance of visual humor, this is tailor-made for reading aloud. All ages. (Oct.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved


School Library Journal Review

Pre-Gr 3-A book bursting at the seams with ingenuity and creative spirit. When Joseph's overcoat becomes "old and worn," he snips off the patches and turns it into a jacket. When his jacket is beyond repair, he makes a vest. Joseph recycles his garments until he has nothing left. But by trading in his scissors for a pen and paintbrush he creates a story, showing "you can always make something out of nothing." Clever die-cut holes provide clues as to what Joseph will make next: windowpanes in one scene become a scarf upon turning the page. Striking gouache, watercolor, and collage illustrations are chock-full of witty details-letters to read, proverbs on the walls, even a fiddler on the roof. Taback adapted this tale from a Yiddish folk song and the music and English lyrics are appended. The rhythm and repetition make it a perfect storytime read-aloud.-Linda Ludke, London Public Library, Ontario, Canada (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.