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THE COAT by Julie Hunt


by Julie Hunt ; illustrated by Ron Brooks

Age Range: 5 - 9

Pub Date: May 1st, 2013
ISBN: 978-1-74114-605-9
Publisher: Allen & Unwin/Trafalgar

A slightly magical, wholly satisfying fable, visually rich and verbally open-ended, originally published in Australia.

A coat, stuffed with straw and inhabited by the small creatures of the field, inveighs against its useless fate as a scarecrow. But a man comes along, a disappointed man. He sees the coat and figures it has a lot of wear yet in it, so he shakes out the straw and the mice and puts it on, though it is far too large. The coat speaks to him and carries itself and the man to the Cafe Delitzia. There, he is welcomed, fed and asked to perform, although he thinks he cannot. But the coat knows, and it plays the accordion with such expertise that the crowd is enchanted. At the end of the night, the coat fits him perfectly, and off the man and the coat go. Brooks’ fine illustrations fit the pattern of the words perfectly. The images in the field start in dull sepia tones, and the coat actually looks pretty bedraggled, but by the time the man reaches the Cafe Delitzia, it begins to glow; as it plays and he sings, the pictures become more colorful. The typeface emulates handwritten script, complementing the illustrations’ line but occasionally becoming hard to read.

Meditative, musical, magical, mysterious. (Picture book. 5-9)