Winter is coming to Tennessee and there's no money to buy a new coat, so a little girl's mama sews one for her out of rags. The little girl wears it to school proudly, and when the other children laugh, she gives them a quick lesson about what it means to be rich.
Like the song, the book tells a powerful story of kindness, understanding and appreciation of what you have in life. Publishers Weekly said,
"The heartfelt verses are imbued with the same genuine, infectiously likeable spirit Parton herself projects."
The story concludes with the simple but powerful words from the song, "One is only poor, only if they choose to be. Now I know we had no money, but I was rich as I could be, In my coat of many colors my momma made for me."
The book, published by HarperCollins in 1996, features paintings from illustrator Judith Sutton.
To date, the book has sold over 150,000 copies.