The Jacket I Wear in the Snow

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by Shirley Neitzel. Illustrated by Nancy Winslow Parker. Picture Book. 32 pages. Grades PreK-2.
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Review

cover art

The "House that Jack Built format" has been used and over-used but, just when you think there's nothing else they can do with it, something like The Jacket I Wear in the Snow comes along. Shirley Neitzel and Nancy Winslow Parker have used the simple format and combined it with a rebus puzzle to delight the very young for whom getting dressed and undressed for the snow is a Herculean task. It's one of the best of the predictable books.

Each piece of clothing is placed on a boy who can then do everything but walk. To say that this child is overdressed is an understatement. All does not go smoothly, the clothing is "bunchy and hot," "wrinkled a lot," "stiff in the knee," "too big for me," and then there's the stuck zipper! The rebuses create colorful playfulness through the pages and draw children in to the chant.

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Activities

  • Locate every item of clothing mentioned in the book. Use them to dress somebody.

  • Comparisons abound, of course, between this and other cumulative stories and you may expand the lesson a bit by getting into some like The World that Jack Built and Why Mosquitoes Buzz in People's Ears (see below).
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Related Books

  • cover art The World that Jack Built by Ruth Brown. (1991, Dutton. ISBN 0525446354. Order Info.) Picture Book. 32 pages. Gr PreK-3.
    A butterfly leads us and a black cat on an observation tour. It may be the butterfly who narrates the story in a "This is the house that Jack built" style. After viewing the house and grounds of a lovely manor estate, we go into the next valley which has been badly polluted to the factory that Jack also built. The book ends with cat and butterfly running away from the devastation. Read More including discussion starters, activities, related books and links.

  • cover art Why Mosquitoes Buzz in People's Ears by Verna Aardema. Illustrated by Leo and Diane Dillon. (1975, Dial. ISBN 0803760892. Order Info.) Picture Book. 32 pages. Gr K-3.
    This Caldecott award winning African tale uses the cumulative format. It happened this way: a mosquito said something foolish to the iguana who put sticks in his ears so that he would hear no more such foolishness. This frightened the next animal who saw the iguana and so on. As the animals explain the sequence of events, one part of the illustration shows what they think happened while another part shows what really happened. The books outstanding illustrations are done with vivid watercolors and an airbrush, each figure or part of a figure is outlined in white, giving the page a stained glass look. Read More.
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