Centipede's One Hundred Shoes

( 2 )


Have fun with numbers in this hilarious new picture book by master storyteller and illustrator Tony Ross.

“One hundred shoes, please!” said the little centipede. “Fifty left ones, and fifty right ones.”
“Why do you want one hundred?” asked the shoe seller.
“Because I’m a centipede, which means a hundred ...

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Have fun with numbers in this hilarious new picture book by master storyteller and illustrator Tony Ross.

“One hundred shoes, please!” said the little centipede. “Fifty left ones, and fifty right ones.”
“Why do you want one hundred?” asked the shoe seller.
“Because I’m a centipede, which means a hundred feet,” said the little centipede.

But when are one hundred shoes too many shoes? And what do you do with too many shoes? Why, you give them away!

Find out who gets them in this delightfully silly story about a centipede with sore feet.

A little centipede buys shoes to protect his feet but finds that they are a lot of trouble to put on and take off.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Ross (the Amber Brown series) mixes together a little math, some empathy for first-time shoe wearers and plenty of humor-infused illustrations in this quaint tale. An expressive black line and watercolor wash reveals the titular arthropod's angst, with his overly large eyes and raised brow, as he stubs a toe and then must deal with the hassles of buying 100 shoes. A shoe salesman smartly outfitted in a high-collar shirt, bow tie and morning coat shows off his wares, suspended from leafy fronds. The next day, when the hero laces up his shoes, he has 58 left over ("That's because most centipedes have only forty-two legs," granddad comments helpfully). The subsequent need for socks and all the daily lacing and unlacing takes its toll on the young fellow, who finally gives away his footwear. Despite some minor discrepancies in the artwork (little centipede has a window in his room that shows the sun and moon, even though the entrance to his home indicates that he lives underground), other details (such as the little centipede's poster of a guitar-playing grasshopper idol) add atmospheric humor. This lighthearted caper will make youngsters feel lucky they have to don only one pair of shoes each day. Ages 4-7. (Apr.) Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
Children's Literature
The little centipede hurts his toe and his mom suggests that he needs shoes. At the shoe store the centipede figures that since his name means "100 feet" he must need 50 shoes for the left foot and 50 shoes for the right. After he tries on shoes to find which ones he likes best, this mother buys them. Next day when he puts his shoes on all his feet and ties the laces, he sees that he has 58 shoes left over. His grand dad explains that, despite their name, most centipedes have only 42 feet. Even with his new shoes, his feet hurt. His mother tells him that he probably he needs socks. So that day all his aunties knit socks for him. Next morning he begins putting on his socks and the job takes him until lunchtime. After lunch he begins putting on his shoes. Finally he decides having 42 shoes and 42 socks is too much trouble. So he puts them in a wheelbarrow and gives them away to spiders, beetles and other creatures in this whimsical story. Mr. Ross, who lives in England, has written and/or illustrated more than 50 books for children. 2003 (orig. 2002), Henry Holt and Company,
— Janet Crane Barley
School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 1-After stubbing his toe on a pebble, a young centipede goes shoe shopping. Because he believes that shoes with laces are more "grown-up," his mother purchases 50 pairs to protect her son's feckless feet. He quickly discovers that there are 58 extra shoes, and his grandfather explains that most centipedes only have 42 legs. To make matters worse, the multi-legged critter painfully perceives that without socks the shoes hurt, which defeats their purpose. In addition, the excitement of so many new shoes is short-lived, as the poor arthropod learns that after rising in the morning, donning the footgear, and tying all those laces, it's time for bed. Deciding that they are just not worth the effort, he gives the shoes and newly knitted socks to friends, and the tale becomes a subtle lesson in elementary math. Discriminating readers will notice a concurrent, budding relationship between two ladybugs wordlessly unfolding in the background. Amusing pen-and-ink and watercolor illustrations, including a woebegone centipede with a turquoise head and five dangling spiders each sporting eight high-tops, add more droll humor to this delightful tale.-Maryann H. Owen, Racine Public Library, WI Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
In this cross between Jonathan London's Froggy Gets Dressed (1997) and Stuart Murphy's "MathStart" series, a little centipede buys a hundred shoes after stubbing a toe, and then spends most of the next few days learning the error of his ways. First, because he finds out too late that, like most centipedes, he actually has only 42 feet; second, because it takes most of a day to tie even that many, and then to take them off at bedtime; and third, because he then discovers that he needs socks, too. In his signature cartoon style, Ross creates a buggy setting for Little Centipede, and fills it up with piles of small brown shoes and multicolored socks for young viewers to count. Realizing at last that it's just not worth the effort, Little Centipede gives his footwear away to (another counting opportunity) five spiders, four beetles, two woodlice, a grasshopper-and two delighted worms. As Little Centipede's mom, who should know better, indulges his folly without comment, the tale's internal logic isn't sewn down very tightly; still, children who struggle with tying even two shoes will sympathize with Little Centipede's situation. (Picture book. 5-7)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780805072983
  • Publisher: Henry Holt and Co. (BYR)
  • Publication date: 4/1/2003
  • Edition description: REV
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 32
  • Sales rank: 111,725
  • Age range: 4 - 8 Years
  • Product dimensions: 8.26 (w) x 9.22 (h) x 0.35 (d)

Meet the Author

Tony Ross was born in England and studied at the Liverpool School of Art. He is the author and / or illustrator of more than fifty children’s books, including I Want to Be a Cowgirl and Susan Laughs. Mr. Ross lives with his wife and daughter in Cheshire, England.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 5
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