Joseph Had a Little Overcoat

Joseph Had a Little Overcoat


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Joseph had a little overcoat, but it was full of holes—just 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.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780670878550
Publisher: Penguin Young Readers Group
Publication date: 02/15/2000
Pages: 32
Sales rank: 74,643
Product dimensions: 8.88(w) x 10.81(h) x 0.45(d)
Lexile: BR (what's this?)
Age Range: 3 - 7 Years

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.

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Joseph Had a Little Overcoat 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 70 reviews.
cmesa1 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This was a very pleasant book to read the cut outs gives you a visual on what is happening with the coat that it was old and worn.The author uses bright colors that get your attention as a reader. At the tendo of the book he gives as a nice moral "You can always make something out of nothing".
whitneyfarmer on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
SUMMARY:The story begins with Joseph in his overcoat, and gradually, as his overcoat gets older, he redesigns it, and cuts it down into smaller articles of clothing, ending with a small button. Joseph loses the button, and ends up with nothing! However, Joseph writes a book about his overcoat, and makes something out of nothing.PERSONAL REACTION:I absolutely loved this book. The illustration, along with the inspirational story line truly captured my heart. I love that Joseph made something out of nothing. That is truly a great message to send children. CLASSROOM EXTENSION:I think this would be a great asset to a lesson on recycling! Joseph reused his coat until it was completely gone. Children can brainstorm on things they can reuse within their own homes.I also think this book would be a great introduction to starting a classroom project on making a picture book. Students can learn from Joseph that you can do anything, even write and illustrate your very own book!! How exciting!
Jeanza on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Reading this book taught me to be thankful for what I have and optimistic about life. I would love to share this book with a little boy or girl probably grade 2-5 because it is an easy read. Also, I could use this book for a worship thought on character and the importance of being thankful for what you do have.
lynzees on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I enjoyed the book and especially the way Joseph was able to hold onto his overcoat throughout time as it got worn out. He shows resourcefulness and I believe kid readers will be waiting to see what he turns it into next.
kidlit9 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
A very old overcoat is recycled numerous times into a variety of garments. The moral: you can always make something out of nothing.
dtortorice on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Joseph had a little overcoat... but as it gets more and more worn, he must use the fabric to make something increasingly smaller. Eventually, he only has enough fabric for a button. But he holds on to it. Then, he loses it... And writes a book about it! Proving you can always make something out of nothing...
dahabdabbler on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This book was based on a Yiddish folk song called ¿I Had a Little Overcoat¿. The author adapted the song to make a book and this version contains his newest illustrations. The story begins with Joseph and his little, old, worn overcoat. Joseph proceeds to make the overcoat into a jacket, which also gets worn and old so he makes it into vest. He then makes it into a scarf, a tie, a handkerchief, and finally a button, which he loses. When he can no longer use the cloth, Joseph makes a book about it and shows that ¿You can always make something out of nothing.¿As I read this book, I enjoyed the creativity behind the holes in the illustrations. My favorite part was when Joseph writes a book about it and we learn the moral of the story. I like when such simple stories teach morals. I thought it was a great lesson on creativity and reusing materials. This could be used in the classroom as a reminder to our young writers about where our ideas may come from and the importance of creativity, as well as a lesson on the importance of reusing material instead of wasting in a Science unit on the environment. I then read this book to my third grade class and was amazed at what they noticed about the illustrations. They loved the use of different painterly techniques and enthusiastically pointed out which parts of the page were cutouts of realistic photographs. The students also enjoyed finding the little pictures hanging on the wall with simple messages such as ¿If a pauper eats a chicken, one of them is sick¿ and ¿Better to have an ugly patch than a beautiful hole.¿ On the page when Joseph writes a book we were all excited to see his brainstorming list on the floor!
SarahWilmot on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This is a good example of a FABLE because it has a moral at the end of it. Joesph does not give up making something out of what he has, and it teaches us that you can always make something out of nothing.Media: watercolor, Gouache, pencil, ink and collageAge Appropriateness: primary
JoseDelAguila on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
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!
raizel on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Caldecott winning book with lots of details in the brightly colored illustrations (against a dark background). Children enjoy guessing what the next item of clothing will be based upon the hole cut in the page. They can also read along since the structure repeats: Joseph had a little [item of clothing] . It got old and worn. So he made a [smaller item of clothing] out of it and [did something].What's left at the end in this version of the Yiddish song are a book AND a moral: "you can always make something from nothing." The song, with musical notation, is at the back of the book, along with an author's note explaining that the illustrations are revised.Can be used to discuss shtetl life. Also, what is left when everything else has gone away is the story of everything going away. Memory can survive events and things. But only if it is shared and handed down/along to others. See Elie Wiesel's story about the generations of Hasidic rabbis successfully who pray (with less and less information) to save their community.Or, if you also read Something from Nothing and Bit by Bit, you can make a bar graph showing the number of times the articles of clothing are used in all the books. You can also make your own overcoat out of paper and cut it up to match the story if you plan it carefully. Or bring in the various clothes mentioned, show them at the appropriate time and let a small class try them on after the book is finished.
skstiles612 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I really loved this book. It is based on an old Yiddish song. It is the story of a man who has a worn overcoat. It begins to wear out. When you turn the page there is a cutout that shows it has been made into a jacket then a vest, a scarf, tie, suspenders, then buttons. When it can't be made into anything else he creates the book.
ymartinez on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
can be used with the the different gospels in the bible to compare.It would be interesting to to compare to the original story or compare to "Bit by Bit".
alswartzfager on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This book is the winner of the Caldecott Award. The main character, Joseph, has a sweater which get old. He then makes multiple things out of what is left, until he has lost the last thing he made. He then makes a book about it, The moral of this book is that you can always make something out of nothing, so cute! The pictures are really fun and creative in this book, I definitely recommend this book to any age classroom!
emgriff on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
As Joseph's overcoat gets old and ragged, he reinvents it and recycles it until all that's left is the story of all the things his favorite coat used to be. Based on a Yiddish folksong, the story features Joseph, a creative man (who resembles the author), and his colorful, old-world Jewish neighborhood. The illustrations are done in an incredibly rich multimedia style which incorporates photographs, text and fabric. As each of Joseph's articles of clothing wear out, cut-out pages transform it into something new. Highly recommended for preschool and early elementary school children who will delight in discovering all of the details and surprises hidden on each page.
jrozean0128 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Joseph Had a Little Overcoat is the story of a Polish man named Joseph who starts out with an overcoat that gets worn out. He then fashions the remains into a jacket, which also wears out. Eventually Joseph is left with nothing after his original overcoat had been morphed into a single button that Joseph finally looses. But Joseph does not give up. He creates a story about his overcoat and all its capabilities.I think this is a very positive tale for young children. It proposes several themes. For one the tale suggests that one can live a happy life if one takes a glass is half full outlook on life. Also the tale encourages creativity since Joseph continued to create despite the apparent shortcomings that he faced. The tale also encourages us not to waste, which I think is an important lesson for any child.I think that this story would be a good introduction to learning about efforts to protect the environment. The tale is a story about recycling and stresses the importance of not being wasteful. After reading this book I would have the children brainstorm ideas about how we can be more resourceful at home and at school. Are there ways that we could be less wasteful? After the discussion I might have the children create posters that could be put up in the classroom to remind us to not be wasteful in our daily lives.
MDees on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This book is a story about Joseph and his overcoat. It taken from an old Yiddish song titled, ¿I Had a Little Overcoat¿. As Joseph¿s coat gets ¿old and worn¿ he remakes it into a jacket. Of course the jacket gets ¿old and worn¿ and he remakes it again. This goes on until the end result is a button. The lesson learned is that you can make something out of nothing. I really enjoyed this book because it reminds of my mom growing up. She could recycle clothes to fit just about any occasion. The illustrations in this book are fantastic. The colors are bright and really capture your attention. There are also cutouts from one page to another that young readers will enjoy. This book could be used to talk about other cultures since the story is adapted from an old Yiddish song. Also, you could discuss how items sometimes have more than one use and involve the students¿ creativity.
Amber_88 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This is a wonderful example of realistic fiction, because clothes are getting worn out and being made into other things, which really happens in real life.This story is too brief to critique the setting, plot, or characters.
bostonbibliophile on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I love this book. Funny, charming story told with beautiful multimedia artwork filled with puns, injokes and allusions to Jewish literature, history and culture. A real winner- literally, since it won the Sydney Taylor Book Award and was honored by the Caldecott committee as well. Awesome for kids and adults.
mlgonzales on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This book was an idea from a Yiddish folksong. This edition of Simms Tabath has been newly illustrated with collage and oil-based paint, as has received a Caldecott award. Simms beautifully tells the story of a tailor/ farmer who has a overcoat that throughout the years gets torn and worn to nearly nothing, until evidentially there is nothing left of his overcoat. Being a mother of 2, I can related to things becoming torn and worn, either they are new or old. The stubbornness of not letting go or trashing precious items has been like an addiction in our home. Finding that Joseph allowed himself to start over was a great way to explain to my children that starting over isnt a bad thing at all.In the classroom, I would allow the students to create pictures of torn and worn fabric, newspapers, colored paper and paints , then share.Also allow the children to bring in old, worn items to class and share what story they have behind this precious gift.
kmacphee on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
ESL classroom use: introduction to Jewish culture, sentence structure, playing with vocabulary.
Schuman on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I love this one. It starts with Joseph wearing an overcoat until it gets too worn and he makes it into a jacket, then a vest atc atc until all that he left is a button that he loses. It ends with him making a book out of it showing that you can always make something out of nothing. The book has cut-outs so it is fun to let the kids guess what he is going to make next. It would also be a great discussion/project on what you can make from something worn out or discarded.
kowasuza on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Vivid illustrations done with watercolor, gouache, pencil, ink and collage bring to life the yiddish song "I Had a Little Overcoat." The die cut format higlights the changes in the coat as Joseph struggles to make something out of his coat with the lesson that "you can always make something out of nothing." Children ages 2-5 will enjoy figuring out what Joseph did with his coat from page to page.
nkertz on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This book is about a resouceful jewish man who is able to recycle his one coat as it acquires daily wear and tear through the years so he makes what he can out of what is left over from his overcoat. It can be used to broaden the horizons of children towards the jewish culture and it can also be used to show children that material things aren't as important as they thought. other themes that can be elicited from this book is recycling because instead of wasting the coat and throwing it away he is able to reuse it and make something new out of it.
KatieKirk on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Summary:Joseph starts out with an overcoat but after it realizing that it is old and worn, he decides to make a new article of clothing from the overcoat. Throughout the book he continues to create new things until he has nothing left. What will Joseph do with nothing?Personal Reaction:Great book! I couldn't wait to turn the page and see each new creation that Joseph made from his dwindling resources. The art work is very creative and original. Children also get a view of Yiddish culture in this book.Classroom Extension Ideas:1. I could give students various sizes of fabric and have them create new things like Joseph did.2. The artwork in the book was created with collages. I could give the students old magazines to cut up and have them create a collage scene from the book.
mbackes10 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
My first graders were intrigued by each page. What a great way of teaching the importance of recycling!