Press:Viking Juvenile Viking Books for Young Readers (October 1, 1999)
Author Name:Simms Taback
Joseph had a little overcoat, but it was full of holesjust like this book! When Joseph's coat got too old and shabby, he made it into a jacket.
But what did he make it into after that? And after that?As children turn the pages of this book, they can use the die-cut holes to guess what Joseph will be making next from his amazing overcoat, while they laugh at the bold, cheerful artwork and learn that you can always make something, even out of nothing.
From Publishers Weekly
As in his Caldecott Honor book, There Was an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Fly, Taback's inventive use of die-cut pages shows off his signature artwork, here newly created for his 1977 adaptation of a Yiddish folk song.
This diverting, sequential story unravels as swiftly as the threads of Joseph's well-loved, patch-covered plaid coat.
A flip of the page allows children to peek through to subsequent spreads as Joseph's tailoring produces items of decreasing size.
The author puts a droll spin on his narrative when Joseph loses the last remnant of the coatAa buttonAand decides to make a book about it.
you can always make something out of nothing," writes Taback, who wryly slips himself into his story by depicting Joseph creating a dummy for the book that readers are holding.
Still, it's the bustling mixed-media artwork, highlighted by the strategically placed die-cuts, that steals the show.
Taback works into his folk art a menagerie of wide-eyed animals witnessing the overcoat's transformation, miniature photographs superimposed on paintings and some clever asides reproduced in small print (a wall hanging declares, "Better to have an ugly patch than a beautiful hole"; a newspaper headline announces, "Fiddler on Roof Falls off Roof").
With its effective repetition and an abundance of visual humor, this is tailor-made for reading aloud.
(Oct.) Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc.
From School Library Journal
Pre-Grade 3-A book bursting at the seams with ingenuity and creative spirit.
When Joseph's overcoat becomes "old and worn," he snips off the patches and turns it into a jacket.
When his jacket is beyond repair, he makes a vest.
Joseph recycles his garments until he has nothing left.
But by trading in his scissors for a pen and paintbrush he creates a story, showing "you can always make something out of nothing." Clever die-cut holes provide clues as to what Joseph will make next: windowpanes in one scene become a scarf upon turning the page.
Striking gouache, watercolor, and collage illustrations are chock-full of witty details-letters to read, proverbs on the walls, even a fiddler on the roof.
Taback adapted this tale from a Yiddish folk song and the music and English lyrics are appended.
The rhythm and repetition make it a perfect storytime read-aloud.Linda Ludke, London Public Library, Ontario, Canada Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc.
This newly illustrated version of a book Taback first published in 1977 is a true example of accomplished bookmaking--from the typography and the endpapers to the bar code, set in what appears to be a patch of fabric.
Taback's mixed-media and collage illustrations are alive with warmth, humor, and humanity.
Their colors are festive yet controlled, and they are filled with homey clutter, interesting characters, and a million details to bring children back again and again.
The simple text, which was adapted from the Yiddish song "I Had a Little Overcoat," begins as Joseph makes a jacket from his old, worn coat.
When the jacket wears out, Joseph makes a vest, and so on, until he has only enough to cover a button.
Cut outs emphasize the use and reuse of the material and add to the general sense of fun.
When Joseph loses, he writes a story about it all, bringing children to the moral "You can always make something out of nothing." Tim Arnold
About the Author
Simms Taback grew up in the Bronx and graduated from Cooper Union.
He has worked as an art director and a graphic designer, and has taught at the School of Visual Arts and Syracause University.
He has illustrated many children's books, including I Know an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Fly (Viking), Spacy Riddles, Snakey Riddles, Buggy Riddles, and Fishy Riddles (all written by Katy Hall and lIsa Eisenberg, Dial).His work has won many awards, including the Caldecott Honor Award Medal for I Know an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Fly and a New York Times Best Illustrated Children's Book.A father of three and grandfather of three, Mr.
Taback lives with his wife in Willow, New Yorkcopyright ? 2000 by Penguin Putnam Books for Young Readers.
All rights reserved.
Author Simms Taback reads the text of his popular picture book, one that weaves the tale about a piece of fabric that follows a man, first as his overcoat, then his coat, his vest, his scarf, and eventually as it wears away, Joseph has nothing left of his overcoat but the story to tell.
With amusing sound effects, musical accompaniment, and Taback's playful reading, this is a listening delight.
The program is repeated on both sides of the cassette, once with page-turning cues.
At the end of the story, Taback sings the Yiddish folk song that is the basis for the story.
Together with the print version, JOSEPH HAD A LITTLE OVERCOAT is a worthy addition to any children's library, public or private.
2002 Audie Award Finalist © AudioFile 2002, Portland, Maine-- Copyright © AudioFile, Portland, Maine
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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