I am not a major shoe buyer (picky feet), but I can understand the attachment to a favorite pair of shoes. Last week I checked out two very enjoyable picture books which were both about shoes. These books would both be great additions to a shoe-themed storytime.
Dog in Boots by Greg Gormley and Roberta Angaramo is a cute story about an equally cute dog who has just finished reading Puss in Boots. Dog decides he must have a pair of his own and promptly goes to the shoe store. Unfortunately the boots are not so good for digging and get very muddy, so Dog goes back to exchange them for rain boots. The rain boots are no good for swimming, though, so Dog is quickly back at the store for another shot. He goes through flippers, skis, and (my personal favorite) high heels – which are great for scratching but not running. In the end, the shopkeeper helps Dog realize that his paws are better than any shoes, and Dog happily trots home. He is satisfied with what he has – until he reads Little Red Riding Hood. The story is clever enough on its own, but the illustrations are just perfect. Dog is a happy-looking character, often grinning with his tongue hanging out, and his mishaps are depicted in a way that is both funny and easy to understand. Although the story ends with Dog reading about Red, the endpapers show Dog in a variety of hats and other headgear.
A Flock of Shoes by Sarah Tsiang and Qin Long features a little girl named Abby who has a favorite pair of sandals. Despite her mother’s protests that it is too cold and she is outgrowing the sandals, Abby continues to wear them into the fall. Then, one day at the park, Abby’s shoes flip off her feet and begin to fly south. Mom provides her with a brand new pair of boots, but Abby can’t stop thinking about her sandals. She wonders where they are and if they miss her. Fortunately, she begins to realize the many great things she can do with her boots. By the time she begins to truly appreciate her boots, spring arrives. One morning, Abby’s boots race out the door and catch a northbound train. Luckily, her sandals come flying back into town, well-rested and having grown enough to fit her feet. You don’t have to have a favorite pair of shoes to enjoy the book, but you do need a sense of humor and a bit of an imagination. I loved the idea of shoes having lives of their own and of seasonal footwear needing to migrate.