A routine but noteworthy event is seen through a preschooler’s eyes.
The perspective is literally that of the child narrator throughout: a view of chubby legs, round knees, and pale toes—and a pair of shoes. The unseen owner of the toes informs readers: “Mommy puts on my socks. / Mommy puts on my old shoes.” A chubby little hand points out the holes in the little green shoes into which a finger can fit, and the narrator observes (perhaps repeating Mommy’s concern), “Dirt could get in. Or water.” A grown-up hand holds the toddler’s as the walking surface changes: It’s a trip to the shoe store. “A man takes off my old shoes” and measures the sock-clad foot: “My feet / are bigger than before!” Readers then see a selection of new shoes, a small pointing finger, a couple of pairs tried on (first yellow, then red)—and, “I like them!” The narrator is eager to share the wonder of this new footwear with “Emma,” and on the final page, a pair of brown legs and small feet in bright blue shoes join our narrator’s familiar pink and white legs and small feet in (new) red shoes. Raschka’s loose line and bright watercolor-and-gouache edge-to-edge illustrations are lively and sweet, perfectly suited to his subject.
A delightfully important adventure for a very small person. (Picture book. 18 mos.-4)