The Jacket

The Jacket
Sue-Ellen Pashley and Thea Baker
Walker Books

Young Amelia is absolutely thrilled with her present – a new jacket, ‘soft like dandelion fluff … ‘ ‘warm like the afternoon sun … comforting like a hug from your favourite teddy’, and with four bright, shiny buttons down the front.
She wears it everywhere until the day it no longer fits her.

It’s then given to little sister, Lily who also wears it everywhere – even to the beach – until she too grows too big for it.

Lily’s doll is the next recipient but then Lily starts school and sets aside doll play.

The jacket has lost a button and with paint and dirt on it, that specialness has gone; it’s left unwanted in a corner of Lily’s room. But is it really unwanted?

Not so: Cornflake the cat has kittens and they’re kept snug and warm on the jacket.

With the kittens gone to new homes, Mum decides the jacket has served its purpose. “We should get rid of this old, dirty thing,” she tells the children.

Lily is sad; but not for too long; Mum has a change of heart when she realises and she refashions the garment for yet another life …

A beautifully told, and equally beautifully illustrated tale of a treasured childhood object that shows how we all learn to let go of childhood attachments as we grow up.

Thea Baker’s mixed media scenes bring out the inherent warmth of the text in a book that will resonate with readers aloud as well as young listeners.

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