Marvellous Margot / Nila’s Perfect Coat

Marvellous Margot
Lou Peacock and Ingela P Arrhenius
Nosy Crow

Margot has a big heart and is always ready to lend a helping paw to her friends; she’s also aware that cake and kindness are the ideal combination. With that in mind, one sunny morning she bakes a special cake for her pal Oscar, places it in her little wagon and sets out through the city to Oscar’s home. 

On the way though she encounters several other friends each of which is either upset, cross or frustrated. Now Margot has a fix-it attitude and stops to assist each one, also offering them a slice of Oscar’s cake once their problems are solved. 

You’ve probably guessed what has happened to the cake by the time she arrives at Oscar’s but he greets her with a big hug, kind words and a surprise.

Lou Peacock’s wonderfully warm story with themes of friendship and kindness and the repeat refrains for joining in with, is charmingly illustrated by Ingela P Arrhenius with sufficient detail and bright colours to keep youngsters engaged.
Share with little ones at home or in a foundation stage setting. Teachers, there’s lots of potential if you read it in the classroom.

Also with themes of kindness and friendship is

Nila’s Perfect Coat
Norene Paulson and Maria Mola
Beaming Books

Nila enjoys ‘treasure hunting’ in charity shops and one day when out shopping with her Mum, a coat catches her eye. It’s warm and a perfect fit but her mum tells her that she doesn’t need another one. However she is willing to let her buy it using birthday money given to her by her Dad, if he agrees. Meanwhile it must go back on the stand. Dashing out to catch the bus the following morning, Nila forgets her coat, only to find there’s another girl, Lily also sans coat. This means both girls have to stay inside at playtime as it’s cold. Nila’s invitation to Lily to join her in a game is turned down: in fact Lily seems distant and the mention of a coat by their teacher at hometime upsets her.

Having spent the weekend with her Dad and getting the go ahead for the purchase of the coat, they go back to the charity shop and Nila makes the purchase. As they walk past Lily’s home, she notices a For Sale sign outside and Dad says “Her family is going through a hard time,”.

Back with her Mum, Nila contemplates her new coat 

and says that there is somebody who needs it much more than she does. Her decision about what she should do means that nobody has to stay inside during playtime on Monday.

This gentle lesson showing the difference between needing and wanting something, and the role of charity shops in reducing waste, is told in a non-preachy, sensitive way, and equally warm are Maria Mola’s illustrations

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