Monday, July 23, 2012

In Pictures and in Words: Chapter 9

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Technique 27:  When I read about the technique of creating artful repetition I immediately thought of this wonderful book by Simms Taback.  This is a story of a man named Joseph whose overcoat becomes worn.  Instead of throwing it away, he remakes the overcoat into a jacket, then a vest, next a scarf, then a necktie, a handkerchief, and at last a button.  

Illustration of Joseph with a group of peopleIllustration of Joseph wearing a patched vest in his house Illustration of Joseph singing with a large group of menIllustration of Joseph in bed with a coldIllustration of Joseph sewing a button onto his pants

This book has amazing illustrations. Each picture has so much to explore.  The simple text repeats the line, "Joseph had a little __________. It got old and worn."  Each time the text is repeated the overcoat is transformed into a new, but smaller item.   Taback uses die-cut holes on these pages to give clues to the reader of what the overcoat will become next.   When Joseph loses his button, he preserves his memories by writing a book about his overcoat. Joseph writing the book completes the story, makes it feel whole, and gives the story a sense of purpose.  The lesson taught by Joseph in his book, "You can always make something out of nothing."   
This chapter is being hosted by Cheryl at Primary Graffiti.


  1. Thanks for reminding me of this book! I hadn't thought of that one.
    Owl Things First

  2. This is great. I forgot about this book too! Thanks for the reminder.

    ✰ Kimberley ✰
    First in Maine