Marcus hears a funny tale about a pair of new shoes from his grandfather.
Marcus is thrilled about his new shoes. He can’t stop moving. He shows them off to everyone. When he tells his grandfather about them, Grandpa has a story to share. A boy named Ariba who lives in a small mountain village gets a pair of brand new shoes, sturdy and big, with room for his feet to grow. Those wonderful shoes take Ariba on special adventures. But when Ariba’s friends start moving to the city, Ariba wonders “what the sky was like over there, beyond the high mountains.” His shoes get him to the city, where “the sky had become very small,” and soon “he forgot to ever look up.” When he buys a new pair of shoes that “fit his new life,” he tries repeatedly to discard the now-used shoes, but each time, someone recognizes them as his and returns them to him. He gives up trying to rid himself of them and lets them carry him back to see the sky again. This story is great fun to share with young listeners, who will giggle each time the shoes make their way back to Ariba and will be delighted to recognize Ariba’s shoes at the end. Older readers will appreciate the gentle thread about staying connected to one’s roots. The vibrant, printlike illustrations—in bold colors, emphasizing red, yellow, and green, on thick, soft paper—perfect the silly yet meaningful story. Marcus and Ariba have brown skin; other characters are fantastical shades of mustard yellow, paper white, rusty red, and charcoal black.
Read it, share it, laugh out loud. (Picture book. 3-10)