A little green jacket is sewn together with care in a factory far away. What child will wear this jacket? And will this jacket make the child feel safe and secure, and, most importantly, warm and loved? The jacket first finds its little boy on a farm and shares many adventures. When the little boy outgrows the green jacket, it’s donated through a youth group and another little boy enjoys the jacket's magical power that transfers the feeling of being special, being loved. And so the cycle continues as one child after another enjoys this little green jacket for a brief time before it is shared with another child who needs it more.
Jodi Dee’s picture book story, The Little Green Jacket, is quite simply amazing. In adult literature, this simple children’s tale would compare to the 1998 movie The Red Violin as an object, in this case, a green jacket, makes its way from one owner to the next, sharing its warmth, love and the magic of caring. The illustrations are superb and cleverly executed. Mostly black-and-white drawings, the only color in these images is the green of the jacket. While the plot develops in the third person narrative with inspiring dialogue between the key characters (the jacket’s different owners and their families), there is another voice that carries the story along; the voice of the little green jacket. This adds another dimension to the story, demonstrating the care that is passed from one person to another through an object, an essential garment that offers warmth and protection from the elements. A powerful story that speaks to all generations, clearly illustrating the simple means by which one can share their love and compassion with others.
A green jacket is given as a Christmas gift to a child. The jacket is happy. It likes the feeling of supporting its child and keeping him warm. When the child outgrows the jacket, it is given to a church donation and finds a new owner to hold tight and keep warm.
The jacket’s story takes the reader on its journey from owner to owner. We see the different children it keeps warm and the love the children have for the jacket.
How I Felt:
I thought this was such a unique story. I don’t think I have ever read a children’s book focusing on the donation life cycle of something. It was really nice to see the variety of ways the jacket finds its way to the new owners, and I liked that it helps so many different types of people!
I really want to talk about how much I LOVED the illustration in The Little Green Jacket. Each page is black and white, except for the jacket, which is illustrated with a color pop on the page. It is the only item in color, proudly displaying its bright green. I thought this was a great illustration decision!
Along with the illustration choice, there was also a fun text addition. The narrative gives us insight into each child that owns the jacket, but the jacket also has a voice. When the jacket is thinking/talking, the words for its voice are in green. My daughter even pointed this feature out, so she enjoyed it as much as I did!
Overall, I thought this was such a cute book. I loved the premise and found myself smiling with each new family the jacket is welcomed into. I loved the illustration choices as well!
To Read or Not To Read:
I would recommend The Little Green Jacket for children in pre-k through early elementary school. I think that this is a great book to expose kids to the importance of reusing and giving our discarded items a second life!
The Little Green Jacket is a delightful story of a green jacket that is donated multiple times when the current owner outgrows it. Jodi Dee has written a story that teaches a lesson about sharing without coming across as preachy or didactic. The characters come from a variety of socio-economic levels showing that everyone can share something. I love that the green jacket has a dialogue line on most pages, noted with an image of a green jacket and green text.
Jodi Dee and her co-illustrator Steve Goad chose to illustrate the text using grey tones with the exception of the green jacket. This helps bring attention to the message of sharing the green jacket. The illustrations are well done and complement the text well. I will be adding The Little Green Jacket to my Mock Caldecott 2021 list.
I would not hesitate to add The Little Green Jacket to a k-12 Christian School library. This picture book could be used to help encourage students when the school is doing a drive for used items to be donated to others. I want to thank Jodi Dee Publishing for the complimentary copy of The Little Green Jacket. This is my honest review.