New shoes and a fear of dogs ordinarily do not go hand-in-hand, but they fit neatly into the plot of this first solo work from Golembe (illustrator of Jama Kim Rattigan's The Woman in the Moon, 1996, etc.), using her familiar sparkling tropical palette. ""Hot bananas!"" exclaims Molly when she discovers that her turquoise shoes with purple bows and pink and yellow stars are magic; all previous fear of dogs vanishes in a snap. Meandering clown a blue lane from a cantaloupe-colored school past a purple tree, Molly's steps are as ""light as pink flamingoes."" Soon every canine in the neighborhood makes friends with Molly; they troop along behind her or wait on the porch. Molly even festoons the school's halls with pictures she has painted of dogs for parents' night. Her courage is tested when she outgrows her shoes, but she overcomes the dog-induced shaky knees. Children who have clutched their teddy bears or favorite blankets will readily recognize the spell cast by the shoes, playing the role of the universal security object. It's a compact story emotionally, unfolding nimbly from Molly's seventh birthday to her eighth. Not surprisingly, the coup de grÃ„ce arrives that day in the form of a puppy dubbed Magic. The last line of the book lets readers in on the author's secret: This is a story about Golembe.