K-Gr 2-- In this original tale with an Old-World flavor, a woodcutter who lives at the edge of the cold North Woods counts on his heavy fur-collared coat to keep him warm. But, as he neglects to sew on the buttons as they fall off, it no longer does the job. A thief who steals it from him quickly switches it for a better one that he finds hanging in a busy barber shop. So begins the journey of the coat from one person to the next, each finding it unsatisfactory for one reason or another until it is finally sold to the tailor who spruces it up for resale. He's done such a good job that the woodcutter doesn't recognize it when he arrives at the tailor's with his supply of winter wood. A trade is made, and he leaves the shop happy to have a warm coat again--except for the button that pops off as he waves goodbye . . . . The funny, predictable story is whimsically enhanced by the detailed cartoon illustrations. An amusing selection for a winter story hour.-- Marie Orlando, Suffolk Cooperative Library System, Bellport, NY
A sprightly picture book that ends where it began--almost. An industrious woodcutter purchases a fine, warm coat. Eventually, the coat's pocket becomes dirty, its hem falls down, its trim starts to look bedraggled, and its buttons pop off. On the way to the tailor, the woodcutter encounters a thief who steals the coat. Angry when he notices that the garment has no buttons, the thief steals a coat from the rack at the barber shop, leaving the woodcutter's coat in its place. The barbershop customer (who cleans the coat's pocket) discovers the coat is too small. He trades it to the baker (who sews on the buttons) . . . who trades it to the mail carrier (who sews the hem) . . . who trades it to the doctor . . . who trades it to the tailor . . . who trades it to, you guessed it, who was reminded of "the coat he used to have, except the pockets were clean, the hem wasn't dangling, and the fur was nice and fluffy." The ebullient illustrations, in watercolor with ink line, evoke an appealingly offbeat Eastern European village (the doctor is a woman) in a time past. They brim with funny repetition and details that make the outlandish story even more comical.