The Purple Puffy Coat – written by Maribeth Boelts, illustrated by Daniel Duncan

 The Purple Puffy Coat – written by Maribeth Boelts, illustrated by Daniel Duncan, Candlewick Press, 9781536204971, 2020

Format: Hardcover

Rating:  1-5 (5 is an excellent or a Starred review) 4

Genre: Picture book

What did you like about the book? This is a charming story about the friendship between Beetle and Stick Bug. Beetle has a big extroverted personality and enjoys seeking attention from others, while Stick Bug is more quiet. After Beetle gives Stick Bug a bright purple puffy coat for his birthday and tries to show it off through the neighborhood, Beetle eventually realizes that the coat is more Beetle’s style than Stick Bug’s, and that a better gift would be something that would make Stick Bug happy. The historical setting adds to the timeless feel of the story, including the monocle Stick Bug wears, an old sewing machine and record player in the background, and muted colors in the illustrations. The humor of the story comes across strongly through the pictures, including the loud coat and the facial expressions of the characters. The balance between a humorous story, charming characters, and a warm message of friendship create an overall success!

Anything you did not like about the book. Some young readers will not gravitate toward the older style.

To whom would you recommend this book? This would appeal to readers who enjoy the comedy and banter between two friends who are different, like Frog and Toad (Lobel). It would be especially fun to read around a birthday or other gift-giving time. 

Who should buy this book? Elementary school librarians, public librarians

Where would you shelve it? Picture books

Should we (librarians) put this on the top of our “to read” piles? No

Reviewer’s Name, Library (or school), City: Sarah Bickel, Greenlodge Elementary School, Dedham Massachusetts

Date of review: Dec. 19, 2020

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