No Ordinary Jacket, by Sue-Ellen Pashley/Illustrated by Thea Baker, (Aug. 2020, Candlewick Press), $17.99, ISBN: 9781536209662
Amelia’s got a special jacket. It’s no ordinary jacket; it’s “soft, like dandelion fluff… warm, like the afternoon sun… comforting, like a hug from y our favorite teddy bear. And it had four dazzling buttons down the front”. She wears the jacket everywhere, but eventually, she grows out of it. Her sister Lilly inherits the jacket, and she loves it, too. Lilly also grows out of it, but she puts it on her favorite doll, and later, uses the jacket to keep her cat and brand new litter of kittens warm. When Mom rediscovers the old, dirty jacket covered in cat fur, she decides it has to go. But how can you let go of such a wonderful jacket with so many memories? Luckily, Mom comes up with an even better idea that makes everyone happy. A heartwarming story about memories and physical objects, readers will love this comforting story. It’s reassuring to know that favorite objects don’t have to outlive their use and can take on new life as something different; sharing and making new memories as the years pass. The collage artwork is beautiful, giving texture and life to each spread. The tapestry jacket looks comfortable and warm; you can almost feel the soft cuffs and the woven cloth of the jacket.
These days, upcycling is even more popular; I’ve been making sure to suggest crafts using common household products when I’m doing virtual programming. There are great upcycling ideas for kids all over the Web: Red Tricycle has some good ideas here.