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Shoeshine Whittaker

Shoeshine Whittaker

by Helen Ketteman, Scott Goto (Illustrator)

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Shoeshine Whittaker manages to meet the challenge of plying his trade in the aptly named town of Mudville.


Shoeshine Whittaker manages to meet the challenge of plying his trade in the aptly named town of Mudville.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Ketteman (Heat Wave) serves up another rootin'-tootin' tall tale, this one concerning an enterprising young fellow ("Shoeshine's the name, and shoeshine's the game") who happens upon the town of Mudville and reckons he's hit pay dirt. Newly shined boots lose their gleam quickly on the grubby streets, however, and the folks of Mudville take Shoeshine's "guarantee" seriously. It looks like curtains for Shoeshine when the sheriff accuses him of false advertising. But, ever the entrepreneur, Shoeshine figures out a way to satisfy his customers--and himself. Ketteman's colorful yarn is all twang and swagger, sheer catnip to read-aloud enthusiasts, and Goto (Shooting Star) matches her hyperbole with his vigorously imaginative illustrations. From the nearly life-size spurred boot planted firmly in the mud in the opening scene to the sheriff looming large with badge shining brightly, his paintings offer an exaggerated realism that sets readers squarely in the middle of the action. Ages 5-8. (Oct.) Copyright 1999 Cahners Business Information.
Children's Literature - Barbara Youngblood
The Town of Mudville on the banks of the Mud River is the setting of this story of a wily traveling shoeshine man. When he guarantees his shoeshines despite the muddy conditions of the town, his customers become angry when their shoes get dirty. The unusual twist to the story involves the peddler's act of shining all the buildings in town, thus creating a giant reflector that dries up the mud. But alas, the town is then too bright and hurts everyone's eyes. Proof again that you just can't please all the people all the time. He cleverly comes to the rescue again, makes the townspeople happy and adds some more coins to his coffers as he rides into the sunset. This book is cleverly written and illustrated. We still suffer through mud seasons here in the West so it is very appropriate reading for our youngsters.
Kirkus Reviews
It's muddy, and the people's shoes are cruddy, in Mudville, a state of affairs that suits Shoeshine Whittaker, itinerant buffer of footwear, just fine. His wagon rolls into the frontier town early one morning, he sets up his guaranteed-shine shop, and by evening he's a richer man, with a whole town of spit-polished beauty in his wake. The next morning he is rudely awakened by the sheriff; the citizenry's shoes are no longer as "shiny as a mail-order mirror." Shoeshine points out that he didn't guarantee the shoes would stay sparkling, but must do some fast-thinking to keep the mob at bay. He puts his rags to the ultimate test, polishing up the whole town so as to keep his guarantee good; he dazzles the townfolk into a state of eyestrain, headaches, and a new wish for Shoeshine's hide. When he devises a shine-duller, the good old mud of Mudville, all returns to normal. Satisfaction guaranteed is a notion that Ketteman plays with to good comic effect. Goto's artwork lights a fire under the story's action, with mock high drama and midst-of-the-doings perspectives. (Picture book. 5-8)

Product Details

Walker & Company
Publication date:
Product dimensions:
8.80(w) x 11.28(h) x 0.27(d)
Age Range:
5 - 8 Years

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