THE FEET IN THE GYM by Teri Daniels


Age Range: 4 - 8
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Two picture-book newcomers present life at school from the custodian’s perspective, and he, by necessity, concentrates on footprints. Handy Bob is a conscientious worker, bustling about shining doorknobs, and buffing the water fountain to a gleam, but “by far, the hardest job I do/is wiping after every shoe.” There are hundreds of footprints, thousands of them, and Bob swabs away each and every one; the kindergartners go by, the Brownies leave a trail of Girl-Scout-cookie crumbs, the soccer team makes an appearance, etc., until Bob is overwhelmed. An art class slops paint, second graders spread the paint around, a marching band finishes what the second graders began, but they also march the mess away when a bit of the glop sticks to every shoe. Bob is so happy that he doesn’t even notice the prints he leaves exiting the gym. The rhythm of the verse will likely keep readers attention for one read through, while Foster’s illustrations are unfocused and static: the children tend to wear similar expressions. A nice idea, but it has nowhere to go. (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: May 1st, 1999
ISBN: 1-890817-12-0
Page count: 32pp
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1st, 1999