Coat of Many Colors

Dolly Parton, Author, Judith Sutton, Illustrator
Dolly Parton, Author, Judith Sutton, Illustrator HarperCollins Publishers $14 (0p) ISBN 978-0-06-023413-3
Reviewed on: 08/29/1994
Release date: 09/01/1994
Hardcover - 978-0-06-023414-0
Paperback - 32 pages - 978-0-06-443447-8
Prebound-Sewn - 1 pages - 978-0-606-09155-8
Acrobat Ebook Reader - 978-1-59019-092-0
Prebound-Glued - 32 pages - 978-0-7857-8008-3
Board Books - 24 pages - 978-1-57791-153-1
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The country legend turns the lyrics of her first hit song into an appetizingly sweet first foray into picture books. Based on an incident from Parton's childhood--she grew up penniless in the Tennessee hills--the story tells of a girl whose mother makes her a patchwork coat out of rags. Even when her schoolmates make fun of it, the girl treasures the coat because of ``the love that mama sewed in every stitch.'' The heartfelt verses are imbued with the same genuine, infectiously likable spirit Parton herself projects, and the book easily transcends its literary shortcomings (chiefly, an occasional rough cadence that may be easy to smooth over musically but is likely to cause stumbling when read aloud). The flaws are minor, however, and, like a homemade quilt with a few awkward stitches, only serve to enhance the book's charm. Sutton brings a soft touch; although her patchwork-bordered watercolors tend to sentimentalize the grinding poverty of Appalachia, they nevertheless evoke the generosity and spirit of the close-knit family Parton celebrates. ``One is only poor, if they choose to be,'' writes Parton--an ungrammatical country cliche perhaps, but wisdom worth sharing. All ages. (Sept.)
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