Shoe Baby

Shoe Baby

5.0 1
by Joyce Dunbar, Polly Dunbar

Acclaimed author Joyce Dunbar teams up with an exciting new talent — her illustrator daughter, Polly — for this singsong tale of a baby who takes to the sea, the air, and the shops — in a shoe!

There once was a baby
Who lived in a shoe
And had learned how to say,
"How do you do?"

For one adventurous baby, there's no

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Acclaimed author Joyce Dunbar teams up with an exciting new talent — her illustrator daughter, Polly — for this singsong tale of a baby who takes to the sea, the air, and the shops — in a shoe!

There once was a baby
Who lived in a shoe
And had learned how to say,
"How do you do?"

For one adventurous baby, there's no limit to the places you can go when using a shoe as a mode of transportation. Sailing by dolphins, tootling to the zoo, flying with birds, even sipping tea with the queen are all in a day's play — until a noisy one-shoed giant stomps by and a giantess sobs that she's lost her baby, "Boo-hoo-hoo." Is it finally time to shout "peekaboo"?

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Joyce Dunbar (Tell Me Something Happy Before I Go to Sleep) teams up with her daughter Polly Dunbar (Dog Blue) for a nursery rhyme-style romp. A cute and nearly baldheaded baby commandeers a fanciful red shoe and embarks on amazing adventures; to each group of exotic-looking creatures the infant encounters, he offers up a cheery salutation. "This very same baby/ Flew in that shoe!/ To the birds in the air he said,/ `How do you do?' " The accompanying illustrations shows the tyke gleefully soaring in the shoe-which has conveniently spouted wings and a propeller-and mingling with a deliciously silly flock (the work of Ronald Searle comes to mind), created from cutout paper and paints. Eventually, the shoe's real owner reclaims his property-and this figure, who first appears to be an angry "giant," turns out to be a very stylish Daddy, with an equally soign Mommy close behind: " `My shoe,' said Papa./ `My runaway shoe!/ I could find only one,/ But now I have two!' " Youngsters will be captivated by the light-as-air pictures and the irresistible repetition of the "Oooo" sound. Ages 2-5. (Aug.) Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
Children's Literature
In this fun and upbeat title, Baby manages to travel and have great adventures in a big, red shoe. A variety of animals and even a king and a queen are featured. Finally, of course, Baby's adventures come to an end and he takes a nap in the shoe "so dozy, so cozy, so tickety-boo." The repetitive phrases and the rhythm will appeal to the very young, although the occasional stilted language—"At the monkeys he waved," "To the birds of the air he said," "With a bow said the baby"—may be jarring to adult readers. The story is brought to a happy resolution when Mama and Papa find their shoes and Baby. The illustrations are both adorable and creative. There is much to see in each colorful spread without being overwhelming. The baby is whimsical, the animals are outrageous, the shoes are hilarious, and Mama and Papa are funny even when crying or shouting. 2005, Candlewick Press, Ages 4 to 8.
—Kathryn Erskine
School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 1-"In a shoe you might think/There is not much to do," but for the baby who is hiding in it, it becomes a boat to sail away in, a car for going to the zoo, a plane, and even a place to hold a tea party for the king and queen. "How do you do?" asks the delighted child as he travels the world. But when Papa laments his lost shoe and Mama cries over the loss of her baby, the youngster grows and grows until he grows "Right out of that shoe!" With his gleeful "`Peekaboo!'" the three are reunited. The pictures breathe life into the brief text. The whimsical mixed-media cartoon illustrations are saturated with color. Baby's shoe, a brilliant red with decorative buttons and blue-and-white striped laces, stands out on a page of other fancy footwear. The zoo houses a giraffe with blue polka dots, a blue monkey, and a blue elephant sporting red shoes. Flying birds bear designs of hearts, stars, and pinwheels. This bit of fantasy, paired with Beatrice Schenk de Regniers's What Can You Do with a Shoe? (S & S, 1997) may encourage youngsters to come up with unusual possibilities for the objects around them.-Marianne Saccardi, Norwalk Community College, CT Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
"There once was a baby / Who hid in a shoe / And had learned how to say, 'How do you do?' " Thus begins the rollicking, rhyming, Edward Lear-style story of the adventures of the rosy-cheeked Shoe Baby. First, the happy toddler goes to sea in the shoe and meets a dolphin and a wonderfully peculiar, man-headed octopus with crazily patterned arms. (The "sail-away" baby says "How do you do?") The baby flies, sings and even has tea with the Queen and King in the shoe. When he falls asleep in the shoe, "So dozy, so cozy, / So tickety-boo," he dreams of a pink cockatoo until a giant and giantess come by boo-hoo-hooing about a lost shoe (the giant) and a lost baby (the giantess). Baby wakes up, grows right out of the shoe, and pops up to say "Hi, Papa! Hi, Mama! How do you do?" Polly Dunbar's delightful mixed-media collage illustrations of eccentric creatures great and small burst forth with as much glee as the text in this contagiously exuberant mother-daughter collaboration. (Picture book. 2-5)

Product Details

Candlewick Press
Publication date:
Product dimensions:
10.00(w) x 10.80(h) x 0.42(d)
Age Range:
2 - 5 Years

Meet the Author

Joyce Dunbar is the author of more than seventy books for children, including the bestselling TELL ME SOMETHING HAPPY BEFORE I GO TO SLEEP. She says, "I wanted to write a book for my daughter to illustrate. I tried to think of all the things she loves to draw — shoes, animals, birds, giants, babies — and to write a text that had the nonsensical exuberance of a nursery rhyme. But this cannot be forced. For six years I was stuck halfway through. Then one gray day in November, the rest of it just plopped onto the page. It had been there all the time!" Joyce Dunbar lives in Norwich, England.

Polly Dunbar is the author-illustrator of DOG BLUE and FLYAWAY KATIE, which KIRKUS REVIEWS called "a joyous cure for a case of the doldrums. . . exuberant, to say the least." Polly Dunbar says, "SHOE BABY is the first book I have illustrated for my mum. It was great fun to do, as it is such a fantastical story and has so many exciting things to draw. Also — I love shoes!" Polly Dunbar lives and works in London.

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