The Tiny Woman’s Coat

h1 October 12th, 2021 by jules


Here are some spreads from a lovely import, written by Joy Cowley and illustrated by Giselle Clarkson, each from New Zealand. The Tiny Woman’s Coat (Gecko Press, October 2021) tells the story of a miniature woman who, with the help of Mother Nature and its inhabitants, builds herself a coat to keep warm.

On the first spread, we see the woman shivering. She is so small, the air is cold, and she must be freezing. She needs a coat, but where will she get the cloth? What about scissors? A needle? Some thread? And so on? Well, the autumn trees speak up: They can have her leaves. The grey goose offers up its beak for snipping. The porcupine gives her one of its needles. A friendly horse and some wild wet weeds also lend a hand. Each gift is accompanied by sound effects: The leaves rustle, the goose snips, and the woman goes “stitch, stitch, stitch” as she sews with hair from the horse’s mane.

The text’s repeated elements are satisfying, and page-turns will delight young readers as they guess which creature or element of nature will next help the woman. It’s a simple and pleasing story, and Clarkson’s relaxed-line illustrations are playful and expressive. She depicts the tiny woman as having elf-like ears and conjures up a beautiful, windswept autumn world. Here are some spreads so that you can see for yourself.

Don’t let this quiet book pass you by.


“The tiny woman wanted a coat.
‘Where will I get the cloth?'”

(Click spread to enlarge)


“‘You can have our leaves,’ said the autumn trees.
Rustle, rustle, rustle.”
(Click spread to enlarge)


“‘My mane, of course,’ said the friendly horse.
Stitch, stitch, stitch.”
(Click spread to enlarge)


“The tiny woman wanted a coat.
‘Where will I get some buttons?'”

(Click spread to enlarge)


“The tiny woman put on her coat and went out into the storm.”
(Click spread to enlarge)


(Click spread to enlarge)



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THE TINY WOMAN’S COAT. Text © Joy Cowley 1987. Illustrations © Giselle Clarkson 2021. Edition © Gecko Press 2021. Illustrations reproduced by permission of the publisher, Gecko Press.

3 comments to “The Tiny Woman’s Coat

  1. Love to see we’re getting old/new books from abroad, though I wonder if the title and everything else stayed the same other than the illustrations (so often there’s the assumption that everything has to be changed for the American market).

  2. It is a good question: this little story was previously only available in School Readers: the title and the text stayed the same, and this version is the same version available to the UK, Australia and NZ children.
    At Gecko Press we produce one edition for everyone unless there are a lot of measurements, which are confusing.

  3. Thanks, Julia!

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