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Joseph Had a Little Overcoat (1977)

by Simms Taback

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
2,2311905,771 (4.29)23
A very old overcoat is recycled numerous times into a variety of garments.
  1. 00
    I Had a Favorite Dress by Boni Ashburn (aspirit)
  2. 00
    Maya's Blanket/La Manta de Maya by Monica Brown (beelrami)
  3. 00
    Bit by Bit by Steve Sanfield (raizel)
    raizel: Interesting to compare Joseph's activities, age, and clothing.

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» See also 23 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 190 (next | show all)
Every page shows a new way that Joseph can reuse a piece of clothing that gets old and worn. He starts with an overcoat and never runs out of ideas even though the amount of material keeps getting smaller and smaller. This book uses die-cut holes in a unique way that is both visible and sometimes a little invisible too. Younger children will enjoy the repetition of certain, predictable phrases and older children will enjoy the mix of art techniques. ( )
  laverneshawbailey | Feb 9, 2022 |
Excellent illustrations, color, and cut-outs. Well told story of making the best out of what you have. ( )
  deldevries | Sep 12, 2021 |
Follow along as Joseph uses up an old coat until there is nothing left. The dye-cut forms cleverly created the next smaller piece of clothing as the previous piece gets worn. There is so much going on behind the main character. A book you can read and look at again and again. Curriculum: recycle
  SCSUbooks | Jul 30, 2021 |
This book is about a man named Joseph who has an overcoat that he wears so much, it gets worn out. He repurposes the overcoat into a little jacket, a vest, and so on until he ends up turning it into a button and loses it entirely. He then decides to write a story about turning nothing into something. ( )
  jrhoover | Jul 9, 2021 |
Based on a beloved Yiddish song. Beautifully and uniquely illustrated. Journey from coat to button to nothing so he made a book about it. ( )
  smabile | Jul 3, 2021 |
Showing 1-5 of 190 (next | show all)
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Awards and honors
Dedicated to Alex Cohen; Donated by the Starr - Weg Family in honor of Amir's Bar Mitzvah
First words
Joseph had a little overcoat. It was old and worn.
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
1977 version has different illustrations; both versions illustrated by the author, Simms Taback.
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Wikipedia in English (3)

A very old overcoat is recycled numerous times into a variety of garments.

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Book description
When Joseph's favorite overcoat gets old and worn, he makes a jacket out of it. When the jacket is more patches than jacket, Joseph turns it into a vest. When the vest's number is up, Joseph makes a scarf. This thrifty industry continues until there's nothing left of the original garment. But clever Joseph manages to make something out of nothing! (And that's the foreshadowed moral of the story.)
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Average: (4.29)
2 10
2.5 2
3 39
3.5 8
4 134
4.5 19
5 165

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