Kirkus Reviews QR Code
KEEPER OF SOLES by Teresa Bateman Kirkus Star


by Teresa Bateman & illustrated by Yayo

Age Range: 6 - 8

Pub Date: March 15th, 2006
ISBN: 0-8234-1734-4
Publisher: Holiday House

A Colombian artist makes his U.S. debut on a high note, pairing witty paintings to Bateman’s lively tale of a shoemaker who gets Death for a customer. Seeing his grim visitor’s bare feet, Colin the cobbler hurriedly offers to create a pair of sandals, and earns a month’s reprieve. The sandals are subsequently joined by a pair of boots, then walking shoes and so on as Colin adds years to his allotted span—and earns even more time at the end with a joke (hint: see title). A somber, cloaked figure at the beginning, Death lightens up with each return visit, bounding through a graveyard, trying on a huge pair of clown shoes and, even in the end, laughing out loud. Yayo tucks further chuckles into his simply brushed paintings, furnishing Colin with a shoe-shaped bed, coffee pot and other furnishings, for instance, and Death with a thermometer for a nose in one wintry scene. A terrific complement in plot, theme and warmhearted tone for Yuyi Morales’s Just a Minute (2003). (Picture book. 6-8)