Joseph Had a Little Overcoat

by Simms Taback

The Yiddish folksong about resourcefulness and resilience is brought to life in Simms... read more

The Yiddish folksong about resourcefulness and resilience is brought to life in Simms Taback’s wonderfully inventive watercolor, gouache and collage illustrations. As Joseph’s overcoat is worn to an increasingly smaller and smaller piece of fabric, he recreates it, first as a jacket, then a vest, a scarf, a tie, and handerchief, a button and, finally, a song. Taback cleverly uses die-cut pages to show each bit of the garment in its new form and style. Set against the backdrop of an Eastern European village, the paintings are filled with Yiddish cultural references that add depth and humor to the story overall. An author’s note at the book’s end explains why Taback chose to reillustrate a story he first published in 1977. (Ages 3-8)

© Cooperative Children's Book Center, Univ. of Wisconsin - Madison, 2000

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