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Sunday, August 5, 2012

Review: Those Shoes

Those Shoes by Maribeth Boeltz
Illustrated by Noah Jones

Everyone at school has these black high-top sneakers with two white stripes, except Jeremy. All he wants is a pair of these sneakers but his grandmother says they don't have room for want, just need. When Jeremy's sneakers rip, he thinks maybe he can get the new sneakers he really wants. They're really expensive though so he finds a pair that are way too small at the thrift store and buys them anyway. When he sees his friend's shoes are tapped together on the basketball court, he gives him his shoes and they fit just perfect. Jeremy does the right thing when he sees that his friend needs these shoes more than him.

This is a great book to show the differences between needs and wants with children. It also shows how you don't have to be cool by having all the nice new shoes and clothes that other students have. I think this would be great to a classroom because there is so much emphasis on what people are wearing. My boyfriend told me when he was teaching 6th grade science last year that students made fun of each other for not wearing the right brands. And they even made fun of each other for wearing fake brands. Like fake Aeropostale shirts. And that is so sad.

The coveted shoes.
I think children could easily relate to Jeremy in this story, whether they were the ones who had the cool shoes or if they were like Jeremy and wanted the shoes. Maybe after reading this book, children would understand how hard it is for some children who can't have all the popular things.

The illustrations were created with watercolor, pencils, and ink. Then they were put together digitally. Most of the pages are two page full bleed images. The colors are light and they appear washed out. There aren't many bright colors at all. The end pages start with fall pictures in the front and the back end pages depict snow and winter, which shows the progression from one season to the next in the book. Check out the illustrator, Noah Z. Jones's website to see other books he has illustrated!

I found a great way to integrate a lesson on inferring while reading this book from Kelly at All That Glitters in First Grade. Check out Maribeth Boelts's website for more information on her other books and works. She also has a blog called, a monkey and a cymbal, where she writes about her life as a writer.

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