Cover image for My grandfather's coat
My grandfather's coat
Aylesworth, Jim, author.
Personal Author:
First edition.
Publication Information:
New York : Scholastic Press, 2014.
Physical Description:
1 volume (unpaged) : color illustrations ; 29 cm
A tailor's very old overcoat is recycled numerous times over the years into a variety of garments and other uses.
Reading Level:

AD 910 Lexile.
Program Information:
Accelerated Reader AR LG 4.1 0.5 170972.

Reading Counts RC K-2 4.3 1 Quiz: 64244.
Added Author:
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Central Library J PIC BOOK Juvenile Fiction Childrens Area-Picture Books
Audubon Library J PIC BOOK Juvenile Fiction Picture Books
Clarence Library J PIC BOOK Juvenile Fiction Picture Books
Clearfield Library J PIC BOOK Juvenile Fiction Picture Books
Grand Island Library J PIC BOOK Juvenile Fiction Picture Books
Kenmore Library J PIC BOOK Juvenile Fiction Open Shelf
Lancaster Library J PIC BOOK Juvenile Fiction Picture Books
Julia Boyer Reinstein Library J PIC BOOK Juvenile Fiction Picture Books
Riverside Branch Library J PIC BOOK Juvenile Fiction Picture Books
City of Tonawanda Library J PIC BOOK Juvenile Fiction Picture Books

On Order



A rollicking, rhyming, fun rendition of a favorite folksong about a many-times recycled coat -- by the award-winning, bestselling team of Jim Aylesworth and Barbara McClintock.

When my grandfather came to America
he made himself a handsome coat!
Then he wore it and he wore it and he wore it--
until it was all worn out!
So what did he do?

He snipped and he clipped--
and he stitched and he sewed. . .
and out of the still-good cloth of his coat--
he made himself a smart jacket!

How many things can Grandfather make
out of that old frayed coat?

Jim Aylesworth's satisfying retelling and Barbara McClintock's heart-warming pictures celebrate the clever recycling of a beloved coat that lasts four generations -- until it becomes this story!

Author Notes

Jim Aylesworth tells his stories with generous doses of "out loud" sounds, rhythms, and rhymes. His 25-year teaching career taught him exactly what children love best in a story. He lives in Chicago, IL with his wife.

Barbara McClintock's distinguished books have four times been honored as New York Times Best Illustrated Children's Books.

Reviews 3

Booklist Review

This moving immigration story begins with the narrator's grandfather arriving in New York City and diligently working as a tailor. For his wedding day, he makes himself a long coat, which he wears all the time, and little bit by little bit, / he frayed it and he tore it. But all is not lost, for the resourceful tailor snips and sews and turns the fine coat into a jacket. The jacket becomes a vest, the vest becomes a tie, and the tie makes it through the years until the grandfather becomes a great-grandfather and gives his great-grandson a stuffed mouse out of the last fabric remnants. And what happens when the fabric is all gone forever? Well, it lives on in this very story. McClintock's warm, realistic watercolor-and-ink illustrations follow the family through the years and capture lively period details that mark the passage of time. Based on a familiar Yiddish folk song and enlivened by a light tone, this tale of family, creativity, and resourcefulness is a warm, touching read-aloud.--Hunter, Sarah Copyright 2014 Booklist

Publisher's Weekly Review

Starred Review. Based on the Yiddish folksong I Had a Little Overcoat, this splendid tale chronicles four generations. Aylesworth and McClintock (who collaborated on Our Abe Lincoln) perform a lovely pas de deux, from a boys arrival at Ellis Island (He came alone and with little more than nothing at all) to his story being shared with a great-grandson. In America, the young man becomes a tailor and, for his wedding, He snipped, and he clipped, and he stitched, and he sewed, and he made for himself a handsome coat. The midnight-blue, knee-length coat serves him for years, until at last.../ he wore it out! In meticulous panels, McClintock pictures the man and his wife working and caring for a daughter, who grows up to have a daughter of her own, and so on. Aylesworth repeats the snipping-and-clipping, stitching-and-sewing formula, with the grandfather altering his coat into a smart jacket, a snazzy vest, and finally a stylish tie that he wore on my mothers wedding day! Warmth emanates from this thoughtful book, which deserves to become a multigenerational family favorite. Ages 4-8. (Oct.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

School Library Journal Review

PreS-Gr 2-This new adaptation of the Yiddish folk song presented in Simms Taback's Joseph Had a Little Overcoat (Viking, 1999) and Phoebe Gilman's Something from Nothing (Scholastic, 1992) is a fresh rhythmic retelling with charming cartoon-style illustrations that deserves a place even in collections that own the other two. Aylesworth's story, told in the voice of the main character's granddaughter, recounts highlights of her grandfather's life: coming to America, becoming a tailor, and making himself "a handsome coat...that he wore on his wedding day!" The worn coat becomes "a smart jacket"; the shabby jacket, "a snazzy vest"; the frayed vest, "a stylish tie." In this version, the threadbare tie is transformed into a toy for a great grandson's kittens, then a cozy nest for a mouse and her babies. As in both older versions, this one features repetition and a rhyming refrain. McClintock's pen-and-ink detailed watercolor illustrations highlight four generations of family history. Following the title-page scene that shows ships streaming toward Ellis Island, then a photolike pose of grandfather as a boy on deck passing the Statue of Liberty, the story unfolds in two-to-three small vignettes per page, each accompanied by a snippet of text, with a full-page scene at each major juncture. The paintings highlight McClintock's special skill for aging grandpa. Her eye for detail is apparent in ever-changing clothing styles; in a sole coming loose from young grandpa's shoe; and the evolution of his sewing machines from treadle to modern motorized. This is a tale worth reading again and again.-Susan Scheps, formerly at Shaker Public Library, OH (c) Copyright 2012. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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