Shoemaker Extraordinaire

Shoemaker Extraordinaire

5.0 1
by Steve Light
     
 
Hans Crispin is no ordinary shoemaker. He's a shoemaker extraordinaire! And his shoes are extraordinary, too. When he arrives in a village, the locals quickly discover that Hans's shoes can make them taller...or more confident...or peppier! Everybody is happy—except the village cobbler. No one wants his ordinary shoes anymore, so he send Hans to a new customer: a

Overview

Hans Crispin is no ordinary shoemaker. He's a shoemaker extraordinaire! And his shoes are extraordinary, too. When he arrives in a village, the locals quickly discover that Hans's shoes can make them taller...or more confident...or peppier! Everybody is happy—except the village cobbler. No one wants his ordinary shoes anymore, so he send Hans to a new customer: a hungry giant! The giant thinks Hans looks pretty tasty, but soon the shoemaker extraordinaire has changed even his outlook: the giant becomes taller, more confident, peppier—and he has an exciting new life in the village.

Steve Light has illustrated his inspired original tale with bright collages using paper hand-printed with the soles of shoes.


About the Author:
Steve Light is a designer and illustrator as well as a preschool art teacher. In a pointer review, Kirkus called his debut book Puss in Boots, "fresh and full of energy." He lives and works in New York City.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publishers Weekly
Light's (Puss in Boots) quirky, full-bleed cloth-and-paper collages dominate this meandering and labored tale about a traveling shoemaker named Hans Crispin, who creates extraordinarily specialized footwear. Among his customers, for example, is a girl who wants to be the center of attention; he fashions her boots from which flow elaborate, blossoming vines ("She would never be a wallflower again"). For a woman tired from walking her dogs, he designs shoes that sport wheels (inside each of which a dog runs for an added creative spin). Embittered by his rival's success, the local cobbler hatches a plan that involves sending Hans into the clutches of a ravenous giant, Barefootus, a visit that Hans turns to his favor. The verbose, diffuse qualities of the prose seem intensified by the unusually kinetic, unbridled art. Light's collages incorporate a dizzying range of bold fabrics and papers, the latter of which were printed with the soles of various footwear. Among the profusion of colors, shapes and patterns in each composition, readers may have trouble finding a focal point. Ages 4-8. (Mar.) Copyright 2003 Cahners Business Information.
Children's Literature
Hans Crispin is called "the shoemaker extraordinaire" because he creates each shoe to be just what the customer needs. From a short man whom he makes tall to a tired one whom he revs up with rocket shoes, all the customers are pleased with his work. But the cobbler of ordinary shoes, now without any sales, plots to get rid of Hans by sending him to make shoes for the giant Barefootus. The giant plans to eat him instead, but Hans makes friends with him. Together they go back to frighten the cobbler away. Hans teaches the giant his trade, and then moves on to find new people who need his skill. The lively fairy-tale type text is a bit strange whereas the visual narrative is a wildly designed arrangement of collage-created characters. The double pages hold complex compositions mixing varieties of patterned shapes with solid but often-expressionistic body parts. The visuals add considerable zip, and merit a second look. The author adds information on the origin of both his text and illustrations. 2003, Harry N. Abrams,
— Ken Marantz and Sylvia Marantz
School Library Journal - School Library Journal
K-Gr 3-Hans Crispin travels throughout the land creating shoes that fit each customer perfectly, both in size and style. A short man receives shoes that make him extravagantly taller, and an overlooked girl winds up with a pair so fantastical that she will never be a wallflower again. When the shoemaker extraordinaire arrives in one town, however, the jealous local cobbler enlists the aid of the giant Barefootus to get rid of his rival. The plan backfires when Hans creates the perfect pair of shoes for the giant himself and the cobbler is the one driven out of town. The collage illustrations were created by inking and printing patterns from the bottoms of shoes. Unfortunately, the abundance of patterns and shapes on each spread results in an unfocused effect and detracts from the imaginative use of this medium. The story itself is rather flat and seems to be cobbled around the artwork. In an author's note, Light explains that the inspiration for this book came from a classroom project, which might inspire teachers to allow their own students to discover that "-stepped-in paint can make beautiful art."-Anna DeWind Walls, Milwaukee Public Library Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
Wildly terpsichorean collages, constructed from patterned cloth and paper cutouts decorated with bright paint and shoe-sole prints, illustrate this original tale of a clever itinerant cobbler and a nearsighted giant. Sporting long, serpentine limbs that flail across the pages, Hans Crispin waltzes into town offering shoes that reinvigorate the weary, give their wearers height and style, make work easier-and threaten to put the local cobbler out of business. So the cobbler challenges Hans to shoe Barefootus, an irascible giant more likely to eat visitors than welcome them. Correctly diagnosing the giant's complaint that he can't find his garden or livestock, Hans craftily whips up footwear with big magnifying glasses, and instantly makes a huge, new, purple friend. Light (Puss in Boots, 2002) writes in formal folklorish-"Once upon a time there was a man named Hans Crispin who traveled throughout the land," etc.-that stands in sharp, but all in all pleasing, contrast to the art's extravagant forms and colors. High marks for energy. (author's note) (Picture book. 7-8)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780810942363
Publisher:
Abrams, Harry N., Inc.
Publication date:
01/28/2003
Pages:
32
Product dimensions:
9.32(w) x 9.50(h) x 0.32(d)
Age Range:
5 - 8 Years

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Shoemaker Extraordinaire 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book is great for teachers to do work with children and shoes.The authors note tells how you can print the bottoms of old shoes.The illustrations are inspirering [with lots to discover with multiple readings] and the story is a wonderful timeless but modern folktale.