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Library : Book Reviews > Joseph Had A Little...

Joseph Had A Little Overcoat
by Simms Taback 

Review by: Monica Barker

      Anyone who has ever seen one of Simms Taback's books becomes an instant fan. He uses a combination of bold watercolors, Gouache, pencil, ink and collage to create his one-of-a-kind artwork. 
     Joseph Had A Little Overcoat is chock full of wide-eyed animals and an abundance of Joseph's colorfully dressed relatives. They all follow him when he goes to the fair in the jacket that was once an old and worn little overcoat. When the jacket gets old and worn, he makes a vest out of it and wears it to a wedding. Next, a scarf is cut from the vest, followed by a handkerchief when the vest, too, becomes old and worn. As Joseph's garments continue to wear out, he continues recycling until he's left with nothing. Even then, Joseph manages to make something out of that. 
     Joseph's little overcoat was full of holes-just like this book. As you turn its pages, you'll find that die-cut holes are used to show what Joseph has made. 
     Joseph Had A Little Overcoat was presented, along with numerous other great books, during an afternoon in the Children's Department of our local county library last year. But, none stood out (to me) quite as much as Joseph did. This Caldecott Medal Award winner is a short, sweet story with a simple message that will never get old and worn. 
     I highly recommend Joseph Had A Little Overcoat for ages 4 -104! 

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