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Shoebox Sam
     

Shoebox Sam

by Mary Brigid Barrett, Frank Morrison (Illustrator)
 

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The pink slippers on the wall catch her eye. “Those are the most beautiful shoes I’ve seen in all my life.”

Down at the corner of Magnolia and Vine, you’ll find the shop of Shoebox Sam--where old shoes become like new again and anyone in need finds a friend. Delia and Jessie spend Saturdays with Shoebox Sam, helping him with customers, rich

Overview

The pink slippers on the wall catch her eye. “Those are the most beautiful shoes I’ve seen in all my life.”

Down at the corner of Magnolia and Vine, you’ll find the shop of Shoebox Sam--where old shoes become like new again and anyone in need finds a friend. Delia and Jessie spend Saturdays with Shoebox Sam, helping him with customers, rich and poor. They learn about giving and caring, loving and sharing. Then one day, when a customer notices a prized pair of shoes, they uncover their greatest lesson of all.

Editorial Reviews

School Library Journal
K-Gr 3—Jesse and Delia spend Saturdays helping out at Shoebox Sam's shoe repair shop. The owner, an affable grandfatherly African American, cuts a dapper figure in his gray suit, bow tie, and hat tilted at an angle. The children are waiting for him when he arrives at the shop holding a bag of cinnamon crullers and fresh bread. As customers arrive, they are treated to a cup of coffee and some small talk. When a disheveled man enters the store, Shoebox Sam says, "Come in, sir. Sit right down. Children, get this gentleman a cup of coffee while he waits." Delia's expression is decidedly worried when the man devours two doughnuts. He takes one more and drinks all the cream, and then eats yet another doughnut. When Delia tells Sam, he replies, "When you're hungry, you eat." By the time he leaves, he has a new pair of shoes and a complimentary pair of socks. Customers come and go throughout the day, including a woman wearing several layers of clothes. When Delia mentions, "She is wearin' at least five different dresses and four sweaters," Sam tells her, "When you're cold, you cover up." The woman is treated to hot coffee, sandwiches, and a new pair of shoes. Morrison's distinctive illustrations and use of warm colors to depict elongated figures with wonderfully expressive faces spill across the spreads. Shoebox Sam is subtle yet effective in demonstrating compassion and the importance of treating all people with dignity and respect.—Mary N. Oluonye, Shaker Heights Public Library, OH
Kirkus Reviews

All those who labor and are footsore, find relief with Shoebox Sam.

Young Jesse and Delia follow their Saturday routine assisting Shoebox Sam, a generous shoe repairman who provides footwear for those less fortunate. The children tidy his shop while seeking information from the elusive shopkeeper. Just what is the history surrounding the beautiful dance slippers he lovingly displays? The business-turned–charitable establishment, located "on the corner of Magnolia and Vine," has an old-timey feel, but Morrison keeps specific indicators of place and time out of his illustrations. Shoebox Sam models the golden rule to all who enter his doors. His young assistants occasionally falter, rudely pointing out the doughnuts consumed or the extra clothes carried by the disadvantaged. He gently rebukes them with gentle directness. "When you're hungry, you eat.... When you're cold, you cover up." Light in characterization, the message-driven tale builds to its inspirational though rather inscrutable climax. Jesse's narration reveals his respect for his beloved mentor. "He shines old shoes and builds new soles. He shines them up fine." Creamy tones spread nostalgic warmth within soft-edged designs, though sometimes this softness results in a lack of clarity in characters' expressions. Elongated African-American figures move against the backdrop of shoes and mahogany shelving in a pleasing visual dance.

A heartfelt exercise in morality with occasional stumbles along the way.(Picture book. 4-8)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780310715498
Publisher:
Zonderkidz
Publication date:
07/12/2011
Pages:
32
Product dimensions:
8.70(w) x 11.20(h) x 0.40(d)
Age Range:
4 - 8 Years

Read an Excerpt

Shoebox Sam


By Mary Brigid Barrett

Zondervan

Copyright © 2011 Mary Brigid Barrett Groth
All right reserved.

ISBN: 978-0-310-71549-8


Chapter One

Shoebox Sam lives atop his shop on the corner of Magnolia and Vine. He shines old shoes and builds new soles. He shines them up fine. "Like new, but better," he tells us, "'cause new shoes walk tight, but old shoes walk light, like steppin' on a granny's feather bed."

Saturdays, we meet and greet him. "Mornin' Delia, Jesse," says Shoebox Sam. "I been waitin' for you children." He hands me a paper sack. I smell cinnamon crullers and fresh bread.

Shoebox Sam jiggles his keys in one hand, carries an old suitcase in the other. He opens the shop door. Delia turns on the lights. I plop the sack on the counter, and Sam swings his case up next to it. "Got us some fine shoebox shoes today, children," he says, tapping on the suitcase.

We nod and smile, bopping across the floor in our treadless sneakers, humming a foot-tapping hum. Shoebox Sam smiles an eye-crinkling, skin-wrinkling grin. "Shoes ain't rightly got a chance to grow old on you children," says Sam. "You'll wear those shoes out with pure delight!"

(Continues...)



Excerpted from Shoebox Sam by Mary Brigid Barrett Copyright © 2011 by Mary Brigid Barrett Groth. Excerpted by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Meet the Author

Mary Brigid Barrett is an award-winning children's book author and illustrator. She is also president and executive director of the National Children's Book and Literacy Alliance, and editor of the NCBLA publication Our White House: Looking In, Looking Out. She lives in Massachusetts.

Frank Morrison is a nationally acclaimed artist who received a 2010 Image Award. He is also the Coretta Scott King Award-winning illustrator of Jazzy Miz Mozetta by Brenda C. Roberts. Morrison lives in Atlanta, Georgia, with his family. For additional information visit his website: www.morrisongraphics.com

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