Books by Frederick Lipp

RUNNING SHOES by Frederick Lipp
Released: Feb. 1, 2008

Sophy and her mother live in an isolated Cambodian village. When the numbers man—the man who counts how many people live in the village—arrives, he realizes that her father has recently died, and noticing how she gazes at his sneakers, he decides to give her a gift: running shoes. He doesn't know it, but now Sophy can go to school, even though it is a long journey from her village, because the shoes will protect her. After her mother gives permission, Sophy takes off—and meets with a group of male students who are not very happy to find a girl in their midst. But the teacher is kind and after a running race proves her prowess, Sophy is accepted. When the numbers man returns the following year, Sophy has learned enough to give him a gift of her own. Straightforward and accessible, this tale provides a memorable picture both of life in Cambodia and of one girl's struggle to obtain an education. Gaillard's realistic illustrations add a quiet, lyrical touch. (Picture book. 5-8)Read full book review >
Released: March 15, 2001

Soft watercolor-and-pencil illustrations complement and extend the evocative language of this touching story, rich in archetypes and metaphors, yet simple enough to be enjoyed by young children. Lipp sets up the central tension from the outset by beginning in the lush rice fields of the Cambodian countryside, where the yellow winds blow and the sky is filled with birds. He then moves to Ary, a little girl who has lived all of her eight years in the crowded, smoky city. There the only birds are found in cages in the marketplace. Ary, hoping that her wishes for her family will come true, purchases the freedom of one of the birds with the riels she has earned by selling flowers to tourists. Her moment of happiness upon the release of the bird is short-lived, however, as, accustomed to its prison and dependent on it for food and water, it quickly flies back to its cage. Unwilling to accept defeat, Ary watches the caged birds over many days and comes to know them well. When she has saved enough money to buy another bird's freedom, she wisely picks a bird new to the cage, despite the attempts of the bird lady to discourage her. This time the reader is encouraged to be optimistic that Ary's wishes for her family will come true, and there is hope that her own wish for more knowledge will someday bring her freedom, as well. (Picture book. 5-9)Read full book review >