Kirkus Reviews QR Code
IF THE SHOE FITS by Alison Jackson


by Alison Jackson & illustrated by Karla Firehammer

Age Range: 3 - 7

Pub Date: Sept. 1st, 2001
ISBN: 0-8050-6466-4
Publisher: Henry Holt

The hunt for the perfect abode is the premise for this romp through the world of nursery rhymes. The little old woman and her many children are definitely feeling the pinch in the toe of the shoe they live in. From Little Jack Horner’s coat and Miss Muffet’s teacup, to a sock hanging from a grandfather clock and a tub, the family attempts to find a home that will accommodate their number—a place that is stationary, not too loud, not too small, and not already occupied. As they quickly discover, this is not too easy to find in Mother Goose’s world. Old Mother Hubbard snatches their glass jar and puts it in her cupboard, and the demise of an egg brings all the king’s horses and men to one of their trial homes. Finally, as the family is literally squeezed out of a vest pocket and shot into a boot, they realize that their old home was more spacious than this one. “If the shoe fits, then wear it.” So, “She gave them some broth and kissed all their faces, / Then tucked them in bed and tied up the laces.” Jackson (I Know an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Pie, not reviewed, etc.) retains the rhyming pattern of The Little Old Woman Who Lived in a Shoe throughout the family’s adventures, providing stability to their leaps around the various tales. Young readers will delight in identifying the many different nursery rhymes, and the author/illustrator team has given just enough clues for them to be able to do this with ease. Firehammer’s (The Flea’s Sneeze, 2000) characters have charmingly simple faces, round cheeks, and stubby bodies. Pastel colors and barely hidden details fit the realm of nursery rhyme books perfectly. (Picture book. 3-7)