The Coat

Flyaway Bks. Oct. 2022. 32p. Tr $18.00. ISBN 9781947888388.
K-Gr 3–Elise adores the beautiful red coat that her older sister, Mia, wears. She dreams about the day it will be hers when Mia outgrows it. Finally she relegates her old coat to her closet and proudly wears her “new” one to school, but on the way encounters a small girl and her mother living on the street in bitterly cold weather. It bothers Elise to see the little girl so cold with nowhere to go to get warm. The next morning Elise gives the little girl some candy and then heads off to school; the story is so well-constructed that only later will readers realize that she has given her coat to the child as well. The actual gift of kindness is not shown, only implied, as if the giving of the gift is not the important point. It is the act of kindness that is. The author has already conveyed to readers that Elise’s old coat is still safely stashed at home for her. This story is uplifting and will be a strong resource for teachers to talk about the importance of kindness. The art appears to be watercolor, and the soft palette allows the deep red of the coat to take center stage throughout.
VERDICT A must for all libraries. It is not only a beautifully told story, but its message is full of heart. Children will love engaging in “what would I do?” scenarios.

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