Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Those Shoes Maribeth Boelts Noah Z. Jones

Those Shoes by Maribeth Boelts illus. Noah Z. Jones - I loved this picture book. Jeremy wants a pair of Black high tops, with two white stripes that all the kids are wearing. His grandmother says there is no room for want just need. Jeremy must watch as all the other kids come in wearing the coveted shoes. When his shoe comes apart in kickball, the guidance counselor gives him a new pair.

"Looks like you could use a new pair, Jeremy, "Mr. Alfrey the guidance counselor, says. He brings out a box of shoes and other stuff he has for kids who need things. He helps me find the only shoes that are m y size - Velcro- like the ones my little cousin Marshall wears. They have an animal on them from a cartoon I don't think any kid ever watched."

When Jeremy returns to class, all the kids laugh at him except for a boy named Antonio. Jermey goes shoes shopping with his grandmother.

"At the shoe store, Grandma turns those shoes over so she can check the price. When she sees it, she sits down heavy. "Maybe they wrote it down wrong," I say. Grandma shakes her head."

After that the two hit thift stores. After some searching they find a pair of those shoes for $2.50. Jermey buys the shoes even though they are too small. At school Jermey continues to wear is no name shoes, while those too small shoes sit in his room In math class Jermey notices that Antonio's feet are smaller than his and one of his shoes is taped up. When the two play basketball, Jermey's mind and eyes stay on that bit of tape keeping Antonio's shoe together. That night Jermey decides to give Anotonio the coveted shoes.

I love how this story unfolded. Sometimes I find picture with grade school students have missed the mark. The text and illustrations fighting each other for a different audience. This was not the case with Those Shoes. The story arc textually and visually are perfect. Boelts quickly gives Jermey, a personality making the reader care about his story. One of my favorite parts -is when Jeremy is working on his spelling words. He's at his desk pen in hand, looking down on the words
South Africa
San Francisco

"When I'm writing my spelling words later, every word looks like the word shoes and my grip is so tight on my pencil I think it might bust."

I am a fan of Noah Z. Jones illustrations. I think this is the third book I've reviewed that he has illustrated. Though I must say Those Shoes is now my favorite. Jones uses light pastel and fall like color, giving the book a very open look. Thanks to the copyright page I know the illustrations were done in watercolor, pencil and ink.

Those Shoes is one of those wonderful picture book that features characters of color but has nothing to do with race. There are not enough of this out, and I am always happy when I come across now. Published by Candlewick Press in 2007, Those Shoes now available in paperback. Its a great story time choice. Ages 5up

I don't mention publishers much on my site but I do take notice. Especially with regards to characters featuring people of color. I like to know who is publishing what. Candlewick Press seems to be publishing there fair share of picture books featuring people of color. Here are a few that I am aware*

Not Norman: A Goldfish Story by Kelly Bennett and Noah Z. Jones

Dance with Me: Super Sturdy Picture Book by Charles R Smith Jr and Noah Z. Jones

How Do You Wokka-Wokka? by Elizabeth Bluemle and Randy Cecil

Rose's Garden by Peter H. Reynolds

I've read and reviewed the first three and look forward to doing the same with Rose's Garden. Its a lovely book and Reynold's newest picture book. Just released on Oct 13, so it is eligible for the Cybils

*A disclaimer - This is not about a blogger trying to be buddy buddy with a publisher but simply a blogger giving a shout out to a publisher that recoginzes the need for people of color in everyday picture books. I have not been compensated by Candlewick Press in anyway. I have never received ARC's from Candlewick Press. They don't even know who I am. If asked who I was, the response would be Happnappy what? Happynappy Who


Bam-Bam said...

Happynappy YOU! Love it! They SHOULD send you ARCs!

Mary Ann Scheuer said...

Doret, I just love this review. Thank you so much for shedding light on this book. I've just requested it from the library. I can't wait to share it with classes and see what discussions it leads to.

Term Papers said...

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