THE ORANGE SHOES

A country girl heads to her one-room schoolhouse barefoot and happy, but is mocked by her classmate for being poor and dumb. The school is working on a Festival/Shoebox Social to raise money for art supplies. There, each student will decorate a box to be auctioned off, standing behind a curtain and putting out one shoe to give a hint as to who owns the box. Of course, Adella needs shoes for this activity, but Daddy needs tires, too. So it is much to Adella’s surprise when beautiful orange shoes appear beside her bed. Next day, she can’t resist showing them at recess, but the cruel girls stomp all over them. Full of hurt, Adella tries to hide the damage with paints that Momma had gathered from nature knowing that Adella would need supplies. (She is already drawing with a worn pencil on used envelopes.) Now her shoes match her beautiful box, and her Daddy makes the highest bid. Her teacher declares Adella a young artist and Daddy’s high bid will provide a print set for each student. As a coda, the family takes off their shoes to walk home barefoot one more time before winter. Ettlinger’s colored-pencil-and-watercolor illustrations are warm, lush and full of detail, evoking the period and simplicity of a small country community. (Picture book. 5-7)

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 2007

ISBN: 978-1-58536-277-6

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Sleeping Bear Press

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2007

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BECAUSE YOUR DADDY LOVES YOU

Give this child’s-eye view of a day at the beach with an attentive father high marks for coziness: “When your ball blows across the sand and into the ocean and starts to drift away, your daddy could say, Didn’t I tell you not to play too close to the waves? But he doesn’t. He wades out into the cold water. And he brings your ball back to the beach and plays roll and catch with you.” Alley depicts a moppet and her relaxed-looking dad (to all appearances a single parent) in informally drawn beach and domestic settings: playing together, snuggling up on the sofa and finally hugging each other goodnight. The third-person voice is a bit distancing, but it makes the togetherness less treacly, and Dad’s mix of love and competence is less insulting, to parents and children both, than Douglas Wood’s What Dads Can’t Do (2000), illus by Doug Cushman. (Picture book. 5-7)

Pub Date: May 23, 2005

ISBN: 0-618-00361-4

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Clarion Books

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 2005

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THE LAMB WHO CAME FOR DINNER

A sweet iteration of the “Big Bad Wolf Mellows Out” theme. Here, an old wolf does some soul searching and then learns to like vegetable stew after a half-frozen lamb appears on his doorstep, falls asleep in his arms, then wakes to give him a kiss. “I can’t eat a lamb who needs me! I might get heartburn!” he concludes. Clad in striped leggings and a sleeveless pullover decorated with bands of evergreens, the wolf comes across as anything but dangerous, and the lamb looks like a human child in a fleecy overcoat. No dreams are likely to be disturbed by this book, but hardened members of the Oshkosh set might prefer the more credible predators and sense of threat in John Rocco’s Wolf! Wolf! (March 2007) or Delphine Perrot’s Big Bad Wolf and Me (2006). (Picture book. 5-7)

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 2007

ISBN: 978-1-58925-067-3

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Tiger Tales

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2007

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