Cover image for Coconut comes to school
Coconut comes to school
Doherty, Berlie.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
London : Collins, [2003]

Physical Description:
1 volume (unpaged) : chiefly color illustrations ; 24 x 28 cm
Added Author:

Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Central Library PIC. BK. Juvenile Fiction Childrens Area-Picture Books
Eggertsville-Snyder Library PIC. BK. Juvenile Fiction Picture Books
Hamburg Library PIC. BK. Juvenile Fiction Picture Books
Kenmore Library PIC. BK. Juvenile Fiction Picture Books
Williamsville Library PIC. BK. Juvenile Fiction Picture Books
Audubon Library PIC. BK. Juvenile Fiction Picture Books

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Coconut the donkey comes to school everyday. The children love her, but the teacher, Mr Clapper, doesn't think donkeys should come to school and has a plan to make her go away. However, when Clapper finds himself in trouble, he just might have to change his mind about Coconut.

Author Notes

Berlie Doherty was born in Liverpool. After university she had brief careers in children's social work and then teaching before becoming a full-time writer. She is twice-winner of the Carnegie Medal, winner of the Children's Book Award and was shortlisted for the Kurt Maschler award, to name but a few.

Ivan Bates was born in Northampton. He worked in various capacities in units for the mentally ill and handicapped before moving to Brighton and starting a career in illustration. He now lives in Norfolk with his wife, young son and two cats.

Reviews 3

Booklist Review

PreS-K. In this British import, Coconut the donkey walks to school every day with jovial Mrs. Pie, who works in the kitchen. The children look forward to seeing Coconut, but their teacher, Mr. Clapper, tires to shoo her away. One day, he offers Coconut carrots to lure her into the woods. When Mr. Clapper tumbles into a ditch and hurts his foot, Coconut proves his worth and befriends his former detractor. With nice pacing, precise word choice, and a well-cadenced text, the story is a natural for reading aloud. Though the plot is a bit old-fashioned, there's nothing dated about the multicultural classroom depicted in the appealing artwork. The broad, double-page spreads offer plenty of space for the graceful pencil-and-watercolor illustrations, which portray the children, adults, and donkey with equal warmth and good humor. Different layouts and perspectives add variety to the lively, genial pictures. --Carolyn Phelan Copyright 2003 Booklist

Publisher's Weekly Review

With a tone as peaceful as the English countryside it depicts, Doherty's (Daughter of the Sea) tale also sports the elements of a frisky read-aloud. Coconut, a donkey, comes to school every day with Mrs. Pie, the school's free-spirited cook. Bates uses a soft palette of what appear to be pastels and watercolors to illustrate the bucolic descriptions: "Hee-haw! Coconut's hooves/ snap twigs in the bluebell woods./ The squirrels peer from trees./ In the school across the fields/ the children are listening." While the students thrill to his arrival, the grumpy teacher, Mr. Clapper, lures Coconut back to the woods with carrots, and tumbles down a ditch and injures his ankle. When he hears "the best sound in the world. Trit, trot... hee-haw," Mr. Clapper's perspective shifts: "You're going to save me! Nice Coconut!" After the donkey conveys the teacher back to the school, his attendance is mandatory. The expected ending is as welcome as the gently paced storytelling, which evokes an earlier era, when perhaps a donkey would wait patiently outside a stone cottage-style school in the woods. Listeners will also enjoy the abundance of sound effects: "flip flap" ears, "swish swoosh" tails and more. Bates's (Grandma Elephant's in Charge, reviewed below) straightforward but appealing illustrations capture the story's old-fashioned spirit and the forbidden pleasure of bringing pets to school. Ages 4-7. (Aug.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

School Library Journal Review

PreS-Gr 2-Coconut the donkey comes to school each day with Mrs. Pie, the cook. When the children hear her familiar trit-trot, they rush to the window to greet her, annoying their teacher, Mr. Clapper. He decides to end the distraction by luring Coconut into the woods with carrots, where Mrs. Pie will find the creature on her way home. However, while doing so, he falls into a ditch, and it is Coconut who comes to the rescue. After this, the donkey continues her daily pilgrimage to school, now welcomed by all. The story is a simple one, but Doherty enhances it considerably with her tightly written text that is rich in gentle, bucolic imagery. Storyhour groups will enjoy joining in on the many onomatopoeic noises emanating from the animal as she trits and trots, swishes her tail, chomps, and hee-haws. Bates's sun-washed and cheerful watercolors reinforce the warmth of the story and add touches of humor. This is a pleasant if not essential purchase.-Grace Oliff, Ann Blanche Smith School, Hillsdale, NJ (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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