Ruby, a white hare, always wears red shoes.
Her first pair came from Babushka Galina Galushka, the grandmother she lives with in a sweetly decorated caravan, evocative of Eastern Europe. Though the title suggests that Ruby might learn or teach a lesson about awareness in the story, this book offers almost nothing in the way of plot. There is little interaction between Ruby and Babushka Galushka, no dialogue outside of the grandmother’s advice to treat feelings as “delicate birds’ eggs,” and no additional named characters. What this work offers in abundance is a sweet satisfaction with the day to day. Ruby’s unhurried routine showcases the role of humble objects within it, such as capacious teacups, energetic, engaged chickens, and a billowing clothesline. While some readers may find such inaction, well, boring, others may appreciate sensing the comfort of home. A charming cadence shapes the narrative, making it appealing to read aloud. Within the clean, sophisticated illustrations, notable attention is paid to the small details, such as holes in each individual button in a jar, tiny petals folded tightly on flowers, and slightly rounded points on Ruby’s colored pencils. Everything about this book asks readers to go slowly, to put aside the expected, and to savor the simplicity of the moment.
Surprisingly pleasant. (Picture book. 5-8)