Goat’s Coat by Tom Percival (words) and Christine Pym (illustration), published by Bloomsbury Children’s Books
As spring arrives, so does the transition in outerwear for our girls from warm winter coats to bright, lightweight macs. It’s perfect timing, therefore, to have a book about a special coat.
Alfonso the goat’s coat is not just special because it does its job well and looks beautiful, but because it becomes his means to help others, and receive kindness by return in his own time of need.
Alfonso is super proud of his magnificent gingham, and sets off to strut his stuff. En route he meets a menagerie of animals in various states of peril - from a family of homeless frogs, to a cat with a trapped tail, to a forlorn hen.
For each, Alfonso offers improvised assistance, utilising his coat’s practical potential to come to their aid. Piece by piece is offered to others, and the coat becomes nothing more than threads. When a sudden snow storm arrives he risks a frozen fate. Happily, karma prevails and his new friends bring him a warm, patchwork present.
Tom Percival’s smart and amusing rhyme is perfectly matched by Christine Pym’s bright, colourful and innovative illustrations. Her use of space and angles are eye-catching - particularly the “chick’s eye view” from atop a tree. Goat’s Coat is a real winner - great to look at and with a feel-good factor to match.