No Ordinary Jacket

Sue-Ellen Pashley, illus. by Thea Baker. Candlewick, $17.99 (32p) ISBN 978-1-5362-0966-2
A beloved jacket lives many lives in this affectionate story. It’s made of heavy, tapestry-weight fabric, with a fuzzy lining and “four dazzling buttons down the front.” In collage art, Baker (Love, Agnes) fashions the coat and other clothing from fabric scraps, creating duds that appear impressively real. Amelia, the jacket’s first owner, has straight black hair and brown skin. Wearing the garment makes her so happy that she kicks up autumn leaves delightedly. “She wore it everywhere./ She wore it to preschool./ And to Auntie Kath’s house./ And to the park./ And to bed.” All too soon she outgrows it, and it goes to her younger sister Lilly; then, in a closet, it shelters a litter of kittens. At last, the jacket assumes a new form with the help of the sisters’ creative mother. Lines by Pashley, making her picture book debut, are evocative and rhythmic (“It was soft, like dandelion fluff./ It was warm, like the afternoon sun”), with phrases that repeat like the chorus of a song. The story aptly draws its warmth from domestic comforts as it champions reusing precious things instead of throwing them away. Ages 3–7. (Aug.)
Reviewed on : 06/18/2020
Release date: 08/11/2020
Genre: Children's
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