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So Many Shoes, So Little Time

Ronna Mandel reviews Shoes for Me! by Sue Fliess with illustrations by Mike Laughead (($12.99, Marshall Cavendish, ages 4-8).

My fixation with shoes dates back to my youth. I fondly recall my faux lizard skin purple penny-loafers and would not part with them until my big toe was beginning to push through the worn leather and my mother tempted me with latest look in lace-ups – Fred Braun’s – and I succumbed.

As a woman who still enjoys shoes I could definitely related to young hippo’s sense of awe at the marvelous multitude of footwear that exists. Please note, however, that having recently lost 15 pounds, I cannot relate to the hippo part! Upon realizing she has outgrown her shoes –

Feet got bigger,
heel to toe.
Time for new shoes. Off we go!

the character’s exuberance is contagious. When her mother takes her to the shoe store to search for the perfect pair, as a reader, I got excited, too!  So many children’s picture books told in rhyme don’t deliver, but Fliess has got it right. No sentence sounds forced nor does she ever miss a poetic beat. The lighthearted artwork by Laughead complements the playful text and never overwhelms us.

Shoes that clatter,
shoes that clop.
Shoes that light up when I hop.

See the video trailer here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=gO6fodWqqKU

I recommend this picture book to share at story time and if you like this, consider Fleiss’ other two books, A Dress for Me and Tons of Trucks.

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