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The Hungry Coat: A Tale from Turkey Hardcover – June 1, 2004


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Product Details

  • Age Range: 6 - 10 years
  • Grade Level: 1 - 5
  • Hardcover: 40 pages
  • Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry Books; 1 edition (June 1, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0689846800
  • ISBN-13: 978-0689846809
  • Product Dimensions: 10.3 x 11.4 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #268,573 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Kindergarten-Grade 4–Nasrettin Hoca was a renowned 13th-century Turkish philosopher respected for his wisdom, common sense, and humor, elements that are found in the many folktales about him. This story describes how he stopped to assist in the capture of a wayward goat and soiled his already patched coat in the process. He had no time to change before he headed off to a banquet at a rich friend's house, and everyone there avoided him because he was both shabby and smelly. Nasrettin went home, bathed, and dressed in a splendiferous outfit. He returned to the banquet and was greeted warmly. To everyone's astonishment, he proceeded to stuff food into his coat. When questioned, he replied that it was obvious that it was the coat that had been invited, not him. Demi's retelling of this tale is compelling and includes many details that help bring both time and place into focus. Her paint-and-ink illustrations are resplendent with her trademark gold leaf and intricate borders. However, Nasrettin's allegedly shabby coat is the same jewel-toned red as the finer one he later dons, and as the pictures are so small, it's easy to mistake the patches for daubs of gold. Although this minor problem lessens the effect of his transformation, this is still a well-told, visually enticing tale and a first purchase for most libraries. An informative afterword is included.–Grace Oliff, Ann Blanche Smith School, Hillsdale, NJ
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

K-Gr. 3. Delayed by an escaped goat, the Turkish folk hero Nasrettin Hoca attends a friend's banquet clad in a filthy, tattered coat. The host is embarrassed, the guests shun him, and no one serves him food. Nasrettin goes home home, bathes and dresses in his finest clothes, and returns to the banquet, where he stuffs food and wine into his coat. Asked why he feeds his coat, Nasrettin notes his earlier appearance and explains, "This shows it was the coat and not me that you invited to your banquet." An afterword adds background on Hodja folklore but does not cite a source. The well-paced retelling retains the sly, wise humor of traditional Nasrettin tales. Inspired by Turkish art, Demi places miniature figures in frames filled with geometric patterns. It is difficult to distinguish the patches in Nasrettin's shabby coat, but the handsomely dressed Nasrettin stands tall on the only unframed page. An excellent choice for multicultural studies, this wry moral tale transcends time and culture. Linda Perkins
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

More About the Author

Demi was born in Cambridge, Mass. She studied at the Instituto Allende in Guanajuato, Mexico, at Immaculate Heart College with Sisters Magdalen Mary and Sister Corita in Hollywood, California. She also studied at the M.S. University in Baroda, India, while on a Fulbright Scholarship, as well as the China Institute For Arts in New York City.

Her husband Tze-si Huang introduced her to the religion, folklore, ancient culture, and history of China.

Demi has illustrated and authored more than 300 children's books including biographies of Jesus, Buddha, and the Dalai Lama, as well as folktales such as The Empty Pot and Liang and the Magic Paintbrush. Her work has received many awards and accolades, among them the Christopher Award, which recognizes individuals whose work makes a positive difference in the world, and the Middle
East Book Award. Her titles have been designated American Library Association Notable Children's Books, New York Times Best Illustrated Books, Notable Books for a Global Society, and American Bookseller Pick of the List Books.

Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
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My kids enjoyed it being read to them.
MomT
On a positive note, this book does introduce a Turkish legend to many who may have not of know it.
A Reader
We enjoy reading this book at night time with my 6 year old son.
G. B.

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Tenessee on August 7, 2004
Format: Hardcover
This book is a truly amazing book that makes kids and adults laugh while teaching a truly important life lesson: It's not the clothes that make the man but the person inside who counts, or as Nazrettin Hoca, the main character, states it "he who wears heaven in his heart is always well dressed". It is a must have for all households!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By A Reader on July 29, 2008
Format: Hardcover
Demi as usual has her beautiful art, but I find it lacking in it's text and style to capture the reader. The ending quote, 'He who wears heaven in his heart is always well dressed.' is absolutely lovely, and really is the only really lovely sentence that has style in this book. On a positive note, this book does introduce a Turkish legend to many who may have not of know it.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
As is the norm for Demi's books, the images are detailed and captivating. The story is simple, yet thought provoking. The moral at the end of the story is ideal for young children and older readers alike.
Although this is a children's book, I am using it as a piece of a unit on Turkish culture with high school students. They found the story charming and engaging; the visuals are intriguing enough to keep them interesting in a quick class read, but the story is clearly one which with they can relate.
Great book overall!
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By MomT on May 21, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I love stories with morals - this one: it is the person, not the clothes that are most important. The pictures are fun, but rather small. My kids enjoyed it being read to them. A nice, hard bound, good sized book. I do wish the pictures were blown up a little more.
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By A. A. Lorch on April 17, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Great story about Ego. Love a well written story with a solid moral and this one delivers - all ages will enjoy.
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By C. hunt on June 1, 2012
Format: Hardcover
"He who wears Heaven in his heart is well dressed!"- Indeed, brilliant and very true. This story beautifully reflects this truth
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By Lisa on July 23, 2011
Format: Hardcover
My three year old and I love this book! I recently checked it out from our local library and now will be buying it. He was reluctant to read it at first, I think because he's used to bright images such as what's found in Goodnight Moon. I kept reading, though, and when it got to the part where Nasrettin is feeding his coat, my son sat up and paid attention as each food was named and put into the coat. Then the repetative "Eat, coat, eat!" command that Nasrettin gives made him giggle and made me chuckle at my son's response. A must read, must own book!
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