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Coat of Many Colors Paperback – January 18, 1996

4.8 out of 5 stars 58 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

The rolling hills of Tennessee farmland, framed in lovely patchwork quilt patterns, set the stage for Dolly Parton's (of Grand Ol' Opry fame) warm childhood memories. The text comes directly from Parton's autobiographical hit country and western song of the same name. Perhaps the grammar is imperfect, but what C&W song ain't rife with grammatical errors--it's part of the vernacular. The story centers on a poor, but happy and loving, family (yes, they do exist) who find clever ways to deal with their poverty. As winter approaches, Mama sews a coat for her daughter from a box of scraps that someone has given her. Of course her classmates make fun of her for having a coat made of rags. But sticks and stones... "And although we had no money / I was rich as I could be / in my coat of many colors / that Mama made for me." That doesn't mean the child's feelings aren't hurt, or that she didn't feel angry. But the message comes through loud and clear (like Parton's voice): the child's mother has provided her with the strength to deal with other children's jeers, and family love can sometimes be enough to pull a person through. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Publishers Weekly

The country music legend's first hit song?about a penniless girl whose mother sews her a patchwork coat out of rags?makes an "appetizingly sweet" first picture book, said PW, noting that the "heartfelt verses are imbued with the same genuine, infectiously likable spirit Parton herself projects." All ages.
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 4 - 8 years
  • Grade Level: Preschool - 3
  • Paperback: 32 pages
  • Publisher: HarperCollins (January 18, 1996)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0064434478
  • ISBN-13: 978-0064434478
  • Product Dimensions: 8.8 x 11 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (58 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #381,975 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
My Mother-in-Law was an avid quilter and collector of children's books that had anything to do with quilting and sewing. When she passed away, I inherited this book. Upon receipt of it, I took one look at it and tossed it aside, believing that... because it was written by Dolly Parton ... it would be overly sentimental, sappy and irrelevant. I just haven't found that big-name celebrities make for great children's book authors.

BUT, I was wrong. Though this book simply follows the lyrics of one of her songs, it is so well spoken in book form ... and is abridged perfectly. The illustrator puts lovely, subtle, yet powerful images to the lyrics as well.

The message is much less didactic than I assumed it to be. And the story basically shows how one little girl felt immense gratitude for what little she had in life (compared to her peers) because what she did have was enough ... and her life was filled with love. This humble little girl receives some teasing for a "coat of many colors" that her Mama made of scrap fabrics ... but the way the girl handles the teasing is wonderful ... because she is secure with who she is and what she has ... thanks to her Mama's teaching.

This is a book that I now share with my 3 year old son. Though we are not "lacking" financially ... I am always making him his clothes & toys, etc. so that he appreciates handiwork and the love that goes into creating things for others. Plastic toys are a dime a dozen ... but a "Coat of many Colors" is a treasure forever. This book is a wonderful way for me to keep exhibiting that idea.

I would say that the target age for this book is 3-7 years old.
Enjoy!
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Beautifull illustrations. Bought for our grandaughter as my lovely wife made her a coat of many colors too. A sweet story with good moral value. Read aloud to your children and your grandchildren.
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A Kid's Review on April 26, 2006
Format: Paperback
I love this story because it teaches me friendship because it

shows caring.
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By MAC on January 3, 2015
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Very sweet story. Used this book in our study of Appalachia. Goes perfect with our talk on quilts and Joseph from the book of Genesis. The pictures are beautiful and rich in color and expression. A real delight to read, made me cry!
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
My kids grew up listening to Dolly, and we've used her songs in many ways, the coat of many colors backs up the bible story, Jolene is my second daughters middle name, and when my youngest daughter couldn't get out of bed in the morning, we would crank up "Romeo" and let her wake up to Dolly every morning!!!! Who wouldn't want to wake up to "Why'd 'ya come in here lookin' like that"???? !!!!!!!! I've never met Dolly, but I'd love to. These books that I bought are for my 12 grandchildren!!!! I bought 5-one for each family, and my grandchildren should learn something from them!!!!!
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Format: Paperback
I do *not* like country music, so was surprised to find this book beautifully poignant and touching. Most of the children I know actually have too much stuff --clothes, toys, etc. -- so I think it is important for them to hear and read this story. Children from any background -- affluent or poor -- need to know that it isn't what they own that is important, but how they feel about themselves inside, and how much they are loved. This book shows a family that is strong, loving, and good, despite the hardships of poverty. The illustrations are wonderful and eye-catching for children. I can't say enough good things about this book.
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Format: Paperback
I am a huge Dolly Parton fan and I had to buy this book for my little girl. It is a great book for beginning readers and it has a nice message about being different.
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Format: Paperback
My little 4 year old picked this up at the library I had no time to thumb through like I usually do we were on our way out. So I hurried and placed it on the counter for her to check out. Sometimes you pick a book and sometimes a book picks you. This one picked our family. I have never read a book written by Dolly Parton I do like her music but when I saw the writer I was in a oh no mode another singer or celebrity trying to write a book that is, what honestly went through my mind.

After I read this book to my children I was so glad I did. It's about a little girl "Dolly" growing up without a lot of money but although she didn't have money she was rich. Her mom made her a coat out of rags. Without spoiling it for you this is a heart-felt story that everyone needs to hear to be reminded what is love and why with love we are never poor. I loved this book! The illustrations are wonderful, colorful, keeping my children's attention.

Why did this book speak to us, well we are a family on a budget a tight budget like a lot of Americans, the love I get everyday from my family is beautiful and never can be measured by material things. I love our simple life, my children are no strangers to hand me downs or handmade items because we cannot purchase the store-bought new items. But just as in the story the little girl knows that the love she is given is worth more!

Rating 5 out of 5 Stars- I want to have this book on my shelf at home!
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