Joseph had a Little Overcoat


Title: Joseph Had a Little Overcoat Author: Simms Taback Illustrator: Simms Taback Publisher: New York; Penguin Group

Genre: Caldecott Level: Beginner Number of pages: 32 Pub. Date: 1999


Joseph had a Little Overcoat is about a character named Joseph. Joseph’s overcoat slowly gets worn down until he must make it a jacket then a vest, ect. This continues to happen until Joseph make a button out of his once large overcoat. Then one day he looses the button. This leaves him with nothing. So he makes a story out of his journey. 


The coolest thing about this book is the cutouts that make each piece of clothing that Joseph wears smaller. This is a fun and interactive part of the book. The font is always located at the top of the page and the picture at the bottom. This shows that story that was just read, making the pictures necessary. Also the font is yellow, matching the overcoat, and is located on a dark background so that it stands out and is easy to read. There are no borders because they would restrict this book.


This was not my favorite book. Joseph loosing his button and ending up with nothing seemed a bit ridiculous to me. If I could change one part of this book it would be Joseph loosing his button. I would end with joseph having his button. The loosing of the button and making a book about it seems unrealistic to me. I did like the song that was a part of the book. I feel like this helps to explain the ending of the book a little better, but I still liked the other Caldecott books I read better.


            After: Students will sing, “ I had a little overcoat” that the book is based off of.

A read aloud:


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