REVIEW: The Jacket by Sue-Ellen Pashley and Illustrated by Thea Baker

Published: 1st May 2019

Publisher: Black Dog Books, Imprint of Walker Books Australia

Pages: 32

Format: Hardback Picture book (Purchased)

RRP: $25

5/5 Stars

A lovely picture book for every child who has outgrown a favourite toy or piece of clothing.

The jacket was no ordinary jacket. It was soft, like dandelion fluff. It was warm, like the afternoon sun. It was comforting, like a hug from your favourite teddy.

In The Jacket, a child’s favourite piece of clothing, which she outgrows, passes on to her little sister and then is repurposed for a new life. This is a heartwarming story about growing up and learning to let go of the things you become attached to in childhood.

The Jacket by Sue-Ellen Pashley and illustrated by Thea Baker is the most superb little picture book.  It’s like a comforting hug just before bedtime.

The Jacket is a story about a much loved colourful coat that is passed from Amelia to Lily, to Lilly’s dolls, the cat with her kittens and finally breathed new life in to once more as the worlds most fabulous teddy bear for Lilly’s younger brother.  It’s a story about adventures, sentimental value and the emotional connections we make with much-loved clothes and treasured toys.

The Jacket is truly one of the most heartfelt and beautiful picture books I’ve held in a long time. Featuring a mix of stunning illustrations, clever collages and the layering of images, Thea Baker has done an outstanding job of bringing Sue-Ellen Pashley’s story to life. Featuring double-page illustrations, full of patterns, colours and layered detail this book’s illustrations are hard to adequately describe, except to say they are lifelike and literally jump off the page. On more than one occassion I found myself running my fingertips across the page half expecting to be able to feature the texture of the backgrounds and jumper; it was just all so real!

Sue-Ellen Pashely’s story is heartfelt and beautifully presented through simplistic styling. Featuring mainly short, one-line sentences, Pashley’s narrative takes us on a journey of love, creation, adventure and new life. It allows the reader to re-live their own memories and remember that item that we all hold near and dear to our heart. I loved seeing the personal journeys the jacket took with each new owner, the comfort it gave and the warmth it brought into their life. It’s a simple, but elaborately beautiful piece of clothing that keeps on giving – emotionally, mentally and physically.

The Jacket by Sue-Ellen Pashley and illustrated by Thea Baker is a delightful picture book that is sure to warm your heart and fill your bookshelves with love. It’s a picture book that will keep on giving and is a great educational tool as well (for the value of items, the need to pass it on and the way we can repurpose items that we no longer need or use).  It’s clever, artistically beautiful, narratively brilliant and just a fantastic book to behold.


To learn more about Sue-Ellen Pashley, visit the following social media pages:

Sue-Ellen’s Website | Facebook 


To learn more about Thea Baker, visit the following social media pages:

Thea Baker’s Website | Facebook  | Twitter | Instagram

To purchase a copy of The Jacket, visit the following online retailers:

Walker Books Australia | Amazon AUS | Amazon US | Angus & Robertson | Booktopia | Book depository | Dymocks | QBD |

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