If the Shoe Fits

Overview

Rigo doesn't like being the youngest brother. He always has to wear his big brothers' hand-me-downs. Plus, his brothers-Hector, Manuel, and Carlos-always seem to lose buttons, rip holes, and wear the clothes out before they get to Rigo! But Rigo's luck changes on his birthday when his mom gives him a pair of shoes. He loves them for their shine and style, but most of all he loves them because they are brand-new. After he outgrows the shoes, and trades them to his uncle for old Mexican centavos, Rigo learns that ...

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Overview

Rigo doesn't like being the youngest brother. He always has to wear his big brothers' hand-me-downs. Plus, his brothers-Hector, Manuel, and Carlos-always seem to lose buttons, rip holes, and wear the clothes out before they get to Rigo! But Rigo's luck changes on his birthday when his mom gives him a pair of shoes. He loves them for their shine and style, but most of all he loves them because they are brand-new. After he outgrows the shoes, and trades them to his uncle for old Mexican centavos, Rigo learns that some hand-me-downs are better than brand-new.

After being teased about his brand new loafers, Rigo puts them away for so long he grows out of them.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Soto (Too Many Tamales; Baseball in April) sizes up the eponymous adage just right in this picture-book peek at a large Mexican-American family. As the youngest son in a household of growing kids, Rigo often gets stuck wearing frayed and ill-fitting hand-me-downs. So he's especially thrilled to receive a pair of brand-new penny loafers for his ninth birthday. But when a neighborhood tough makes fun of Rigo's fancy footwear, Rigo hides the loafers away. However, when Rigo needs to wear the shoes a few months later, they no longer fit him. The situation presents Rigo with an opportunity to see hand-me-downs with new eyes when he thoughtfully presents the almost-new loafers to his uncle, who can make good use of them. A realistic, consistently sensitive undercurrent of emotion runs throughout this swift-moving tale, so that it delivers its message with seeming spontaneity. Careful details help develop Rigo as a strong, intriguing character. Widener's (The Babe and I) highly stylized paintings combine creamy color tones and dynamic shapes. The buoyancy of the art, like the intimacy of the prose, enhances the story's liveliness. Ages 5-up. (Feb.) Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
Children's Literature
Rigo is the youngest brother in a large Mexican-American family. He lives in a crowded house with his four siblings, his parents and his uncle. His wardrobe consists of hand-me-downs from his brothers-Hector, Manuel and Carlos. His brothers seem to lose buttons and wear the clothes out before they get to Rigo. But then Rigo's mom gives him a pair of brand new shoes. He loves his shiny new penny loafers, until a neighborhood bully makes fun of his fancy footwear. Rigo hides the shoes until he needs to wear them a few months later. He discovers that they no longer fit him. Rigo now has the opportunity to hand down the shoes to his uncle, who in turn presents Rigo with a couple of old Mexican centavos. Brightly colored, bold illustrations complement this endearing tale of family and sharing. 2002, G.P. Putnam's Sons,
— Julie Eick Granchelli
School Library Journal
Gr 1-3-Rigo lives in a crowded house with his four siblings, his parents, and his uncle. Accustomed to hand-me-downs, he is thrilled when he gets new shoes for his ninth birthday. He loves them until a neighborhood kid makes fun of them and takes the nickels from the slots in the loafers. The shoes are stashed away until Rigo needs them for a party but finds they no longer fit. Fortunately, he realizes that his uncle could use them for his new job as a waiter. This is a gentle and honest story about a close-knit Mexican-American family. The uncluttered illustrations use bold colors and clean lines, which make the images simple and strong. It is a supplemental addition with a positive message about sharing.-Linda M. Kenton, San Rafael Public Library, CA Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
Soto (Fearless Fernie, p. 52, etc.) offers a complex take on the "giving is better than receiving" sentiment in this gentle lesson on what really matters. Eight-year-old Rigo's resentment builds over the preponderance of hand-me-down clothes he inherits from his three older brothers until he can't take it anymore and he throws the latest worn-out batch into the garbage can and pleads for something brand new. Sure enough, new loafers are in the works, but even they turn out to be a problem. Finally he gives them to his Uncle Celso, and this act signals a distinct and empowering shift in Rigo. For the first time, Rigo sees himself as part of the giving community, an important contributor to the family's well being. He also learns about pride, and how having pride in who you are can be a useful tool in confronting fear. When his Uncle Celso, overjoyed at Rigo's generosity, gives Rigo a couple of Mexican pennies and notes the coins are even older than he is, Rigo plans to save them for the slots of new loafers if he ever gets any. But the pennies also provide him a new source of strength and courage when it comes to his dealings with the world outside his family. Sprinkled throughout the text are italicized words in Spanish, accompanied by a back-page glossary, a subtle reinforcement of the story's setting. Widener's (The Christmas Cobwebs, 2001, etc.) lively illustrations of Rigo and his family establish a warm, inviting tone, exuding friendliness without being cliche-ridden or saccharine-coated. (Picture book. 5-8)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780399234200
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA) Incorporated
  • Publication date: 2/28/2002
  • Pages: 32
  • Age range: 4 - 8 Years
  • Product dimensions: 8.40 (w) x 10.28 (h) x 0.39 (d)

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