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Friday, September 18, 2015

Whose Shoe? Written by Eve Bunting and illustrated by Sergio Ruzzier. Clarion Books, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. Thomas Allen & Son, 2015. $21.99 ages 3 and up

"My shoes are tiny. You are right.
I always tie the laces tight.
If I lost one, I'd be upset -
spider shoes are hard to get.
I have eight. I take great care
of all my shoes, since they are

"Myna Bird, is this your shoe?
I think it might belong to you."

What a pairing this is - for the THIRD time! Let's hope that Ms. Bunting and Mr. Ruzzier are only getting started. If you missed Tweak, Tweak (2011) and Have You Seen My New Blue Shoe? (2013), get thee to a library and check them out. Your children deserve to know those books.

You will also want to share this one. It's full of delightful rhymes, charming characters, and a very polite Mouse. When Mouse notices something in the bamboo grove it is evident that the owner must be found. It's a saddle shoe and quite sporty! Off Mouse goes in search of the foot that will fit it.   

Each new encounter begs the same question from Mouse, and each response assures Mouse that it does not belong. Too small for Tiger, too big for Spider and totally impractical for Myna Bird - no one seems to be missing a shoe. Hippo has four pairs, Elephant likes high heels. Perhaps, and finally, does it belong to Kangaroo?

"I have to say I am astounded
that you actually found it.
It hurt my foot. That made me cross.
I gave the shoe a mighty toss."

A suggestion is made, a solution found, and everyone is happy - especially Mouse.

Eve Bunting is always so conscious of her audience and their capacity to learn. Her use of a collection of words rarely found in fare for our youngest children is once again proof of that. Sergio Ruzzier uses pen and ink and watercolors, and an abundance of white space to keep our attention on the tiny mouse, and those met tn the quest to find the owner of the lost shoe.  The variety of shoes artistically created will certainly be appreciated and elicit comments from rapt listeners.

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