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NEW OLD SHOES by Charlotte Blessing


by Charlotte Blessing & illustrated by Gary R. Phillips

Age Range: 5 - 10

Pub Date: Sept. 1st, 2009
ISBN: 978-0-9792035-6-5
Publisher: Pleasant St. Press

Told from the point of view of a pair of red sneakers, this tale fleshes out the journeys of the countless shoes that have traveled the globe through the Soles4Souls program. A little boy is the first owner, sliding his feet into the shoes each day. But when his puppy rips the side slightly, the shoes are boxed up and shipped to Africa. Along with a mountain of footwear from all corners of the world, the sneakers are spiffed up and await their next owner: a little boy who kicks a soccer ball made of plastic bags. A little girl wears them next; without them she could not attend school. The text and illustrations work well together to portray the stark contrast between First- and Third-World countries. Phillips’s jewel-toned artwork, for the most part, closely zooms in on the sneakers, allowing readers to see just enough background to portray the setting. A final note from Wayne Elsey describes the Soles4Souls program. In a similar vein as Page McBrier’s Beatrice’s Goat, illustrated by Lori Lohstoeter (2001), this is likely to spark kids’ interest in getting involved. (Picture book. 5-10)