Goat's coat by Tom Percival
Ill. by Christine Pym. Bloomsbury, 2018. ISBN 9781408881019
(Age: 3-6) Themes: Goats. Coats. Helpfulness. 'Let me tell you the tale of Alfonzo the goat, who was terribly proud of his lovely new coat.'
Tom Percival's charming rhyming story begins with a rather proud goat Alfonzo, admiring his handsome coat with glass buttons. He enjoys the comments of others as they admire his new piece of clothing and skips and prances out of town. This little goat has a caring heart as he meets different creatures who need his help, he's willing to assist them. With a little creativity the homeless frog family sail away in a blue boat made from his coat cuffs.
A trembling pale cat with a sore tail, is also helped. Alonzo's uses the hem of his not so beautiful coat to comfort and bandage the wounded animal. After clip-clopping through the woods whistling a happy tune, Alonzo then helps rescue a little chick. As the weather turns to snow, the young goat solves more problems with parts of his coat, until there only a few threads left. Lost in a blizzard, he's forced to shelter under a boulder, until all his new friends arrive to assist him.
Tom Percival's delightful story celebrates the generosity of spirit, the joy of sharing and thinking of others before yourself. Christine Pym's whimsical watercolour, gouache and pencil illustrations bring the characters to life. Her delightful forest scenes combine natural shadings of green and brown backdrops with bold brushstroke leaves. Preschoolers will enjoy watching Alonzo's bold yellow and green check coat disappear and become repurposed. Goat's coat is just right to share with a young audience and they will enjoy discussing Alonzo's creative problem solving and commenting on his helpful character.