In the midst of the Second World War, while firing at German soldiers on the other side of the Maas River in the Netherlands, Canadian soldier Bob Elliott and his tank crew found laughter and hope in a, energetic 10-year-old Dutch girl named Sussie Cretier. Sussie's family had escaped from the Nazis to the safety of the Allied troops. She sang songs and lifted the spirits of the Canadian soldiers during a painful time in all of their lives. On Christmas Day 1944, the Canadians honoured their adopted little soldier with a special Army-style coat they asked a local seamstress to make from a Canadian Army blanket. Sussie held on to that coat for decades, describing it as the most special gift she had ever received. Almost 40 years later, Bob Elliott returned to the Netherlands. Bob and Sussie's relationship blossomed and she followed her favourite soldier to his home in Canada, bringing with her the precious coat.
The Little Coat by Alan J. Buick was awarded Honourable Mention in the 2010 Hollywood Book Festival.