Bunting and Ruzzier team up for another rollicking, rhyming search (Have You Seen My New Blue Socks?, 2013), this time for the owner of a lone shoe.
“There’s something in that tall bamboo. // Oh, my goodness! It’s a shoe! / Finders keepers? That’s not true. / I’ll find the owner of this shoe.” The shoe, a blue-and-yellow saddle shoe, dwarfs Mouse, but the rodent persists in its search, its polite manners drawing (somewhat didactic) comments from the animals it meets. It’s way too small for Tiger, too big for Spider, and useless for a bird that flies. It’s not one of Hippo’s four pairs, and Elephant only wears heels, for their slimming effect on ankles and legs. Finally, Kangaroo admits to chucking the painful new shoe and offers it to Mouse, who is quite pleased to have it…as a bed. The text and illustrations both evoke old-fashioned early readers (the morals and manners may seem old-fashioned to some as well), though their modern-day counterparts lack the challenging vocabulary: dainty, catastrophe, pursue, inquiring, inspiring, decline, astounded, considerate. Ruzzier’s pen, ink, and watercolor artwork uses spare details and white space to draw readers’ eyes.
It’s an enjoyable read-aloud, but it feels cast a little too closely in its predecessor’s mold and lacks the previous book’s freshness. (Picture book. 4-8)