SHOES LIKE MISS ALICE'S by Angela Johnson

SHOES LIKE MISS ALICE'S

by , illustrated by
Age Range: 4 - 7

KIRKUS REVIEW

 A new sitter charms away her young charge's anxiety in this brief, unpersuasive problem-solver from Johnson (Toning the Sweep, 1993, etc.). As soon as Sara waves goodbye to her mother, Miss Alice puts on her blue ``dancing shoes'' and turns on the radio. Later, out come brown walkers for a stroll outside, fuzzy slippers for a nap, and bare feet for sitting on the bedroom floor drawing pictures. That night, Sara dances by herself, wearing her own dancing shoes. Johnson's spare language doesn't convey much of the breadth or depth of Sara's feelings--''I danced a long time with Miss Alice. We got hungry and ate a snack...but I got sad.'' The illustrations don't always provide the needed elaboration; although Page--in his first book--sometimes captures a natural-looking gesture or expression, his figures (especially in their faces) are often unfinished or indistinct. Miss Alice has a fixed, anxious-to-please look throughout. Small details are absent or confusing (Why is Sara in a buttoned-up dress all day--even for her nap? Where is the TV in this preternaturally neat, impersonal house?) and the visual flow lurches at the end; Miss Alice vanishes in the turn of the page and Sara is last seen suspended against an abstract background. There's a good idea here, but it is so stripped down that readers are unlikely to find its comforting message. (Picture book. 4-7)

Pub Date: March 1st, 1995
ISBN: 0-531-06814-5
Page count: 32pp
Publisher: Orchard
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15th, 1995




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