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 favourite folksong about a many-times recycled coat.

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!

Jim Aylesworth's satisfying retelling and Barbara McClintock's heart-warming pictures celebrate how Grandfather cleverly recycles his beloved coat through four generations.

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 honoured 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.

Google Preview