The Red Heels

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Deep in the woods, a traveling cobbler has lost his way. When he stumbles upon a cottage where a lovely young woman lives, Jonathan Dowse is smitten, for Rebecca Wyse is as fair a maiden as any he has ever set eyes on. In exchange for food and shelter, Jonathan offers his services as shoe maker. But when Rebecca pulls out a pair of worn shoes with red heels, Jonathan is frightened. It is rumored that red heels are the sign of a witch. Entranced by Rebecca's charms, however, he overcomes his doubts and agrees to ...
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Former Library book. Shows some signs of wear, and may have some markings on the inside. Find out why millions of customers rave about Better World Books. Experience the best ... customer care and a 100% satisfaction guarantee. Read more Show Less

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Kelley, Gary New York 1996 Hard Cover Stated First Edition Dial libray edition. Unpaged, color illustrations by Gary Kelley, 4to; coated boards, pictorial front cover. Very ... good+ condition; dust jacket very good, corher bumped. Read more Show Less

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Gary Kelley New York, New York, U.S.A. 1996 Hardcover First Edition/First Printing Very Good in Very Good jacket Book. 4to-over 9?"-12" tall. First edition/printing book is ... tight with no markings, library edition binding, light rubbing to board edges, dj has some rubbing and light curling, creasing along the edges. Read more Show Less

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Kelley, Gary (illustrator) New York, NY, U.S.A. 1996 Hard Cover Ex-library/stated first Edition GOOD-/Good- 0803711344 Ex-Library (B162)

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Overview

Deep in the woods, a traveling cobbler has lost his way. When he stumbles upon a cottage where a lovely young woman lives, Jonathan Dowse is smitten, for Rebecca Wyse is as fair a maiden as any he has ever set eyes on. In exchange for food and shelter, Jonathan offers his services as shoe maker. But when Rebecca pulls out a pair of worn shoes with red heels, Jonathan is frightened. It is rumored that red heels are the sign of a witch. Entranced by Rebecca's charms, however, he overcomes his doubts and agrees to restore them. That night when Rebecca puts on her red-heeled shoes, something magical occurs, and Jonathan has an amazing adventure as he learns the truth about this mysterious woman who has captured his heart.

An itinerant shoemaker in colonial New England makes a pair of shoes for a beautiful young woman, although he fears the red heels are a sign that she is a witch.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Its superb storytelling matched by accomplished art, this memorable picture book takes its inspiration from New England folklore traditions. Jonathan Dowse, an itinerant shoemaker in colonial New England, is lost in the woods when he comes across the cottage of the beautiful, green-eyed Rebecca Wyse. He loses his heart to her as he cobbles her a pair of shoes that use the seemingly new red lacquer heels passed down to Rebecca from her mother and grandmothereven though he has heard such heels are the sign of a witch. Rebecca does have special powers, rising into the air to dance, but he appreciates them just as she appreciates his gifts: "Thou put some new magic in these shoes of mine!" she proclaims as the two dance "like skaters on ice, across the moon-silvered surface of the pond" and then whirl through the air, far above the woods and village. Their nightly dances across the starlit sky end when Jonathan takes up his profession once more, but San Souci (The Talking Eggs) brings them together again in his story's satisfying if expected ending. Kelley's (The Christmas of the Reddle Moon) atmospheric pastels range from closely focused still lifes and portraits to exuberant, ethereal renderings of the soaring couple. Like the narrative, the art answers some questions about Rebecca and her powers, but leaves others enticingly open, inviting youngsters to interpret as they like. A tantalizing tale. Ages 5-up. (Sept.)
Children's Literature - Rebecca Joseph
A traveling cobbler, Jonathan Dowse, loses his way in the woods where he comes upon Rebecca Wyse, a beautiful woman living alone. In return for food and shelter, Jonathan restores a pair of Rebecca's shoes that have red heels, rumored to be the sign of a witch. Despite his initial fears, Jonathan falls deeply in love with Rebecca who has a mysterious nightlife which she shares with the young cobbler This beautiful colonial New England love story is illustrated with lovely paintings of Jonathan and Rebecca and the mysterious red heels which bring them together.
Children's Literature - Susie Wilde
History meets ghost story in this picture book set in the colonial era. Robert San Souci's tale is based on folklore and tells the story of an itinerant cobbler who falls in love with a puzzling woman. He is able to put aside his fear of witchery to follow her into the sky to "dance beneath the moon." Illustrations by Gary Kelley emphasize romance and mystery while documenting the flavor and feel of the long ago period.
School Library Journal
Gr 2-5This unusual picture book combines art and text to stunning effect. Jonathan Dowse, an itinerant shoemaker in colonial New England, loses his way in unfamiliar woods and arrives at a mysterious cottage. Its lone inhabitant is an equally mysterious young woman of delicate beauty who possesses all the domestic attributes of the perfect "goodwife." But Rebecca's nocturnal activities are bizarre and frightening. After summarily sending Jonathan to bed and cautioning him not to disturb her, she dons her red-heeled shoes. With the help of a magical quahog shell and a brief incantation, she disappears up the chimney and into the night. The next night, the young man finds that he can re-create the magic spell, and he flies through the night to join her in a magical moonlit dance. This mood of romance, and the theme of love conquering fear, superstition, and even the tedium of the Puritan work ethic are subtexts to the plot. Although the many levels of meaning add to the story's interest, the book demands an audience that can both understand and appreciate what is going on. San Souci uses the authentic language of the times, with many "thees" and "thous" sprinkled throughout. Kelley's magnificent pastels on paper enhance the eerie quality of the story, at the same time rendering with care the details of Colonial dress, architecture, food, tools, and crafts, and other elements of daily life.Martha Rosen, Edgewood School, Scarsdale, NY
Kirkus Reviews
This original tale from San Souci (Kate Shelley, 1995, etc.), based on a colonial New England legend, makes a richly imagined and tenderly evocative love story.

A traveling cobbler, Jonathan Dowse, comes to the home of Rebecca Wyse. She asks him to make new shoes for her, using the fancy red heels of an old pair that belonged to her mother and grandmother. Jonathan feels fear, for red heels are the sign of a witch. Spying on Rebecca that night, he finds "her secret delight"—she dances on the moonlit pond. She sees him, and he dances, too; it becomes their nightly habit. Despite their growing mutual attachment, he feels he must go on to establish his own store. The next autumn Rebecca appears there and asks him to attach new shoes, suitable for a "goodwife," to the red heels, for she can no longer dance without him. She ends up with two pairs—"One sturdy enough for the day's work; one airy enough for the night"—and Jonathan has also made a dancing pair for himself. The couple wed, and flourish, and, occasionally, dance. The muted autumnal colors of Kelley's pastel illustrations make a fine foil for the unforced depths of this lovely tale: San Souci respects and rejoices in the workaday and magical dualities of life and love. What an extraordinary gift for young readers: a romance that hints at the real complexity of adult love without sentimentality, coyness, or sexism.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780803711341
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA) Incorporated
  • Publication date: 9/1/1996
  • Edition description: 1 ED
  • Pages: 32
  • Age range: 5 years
  • Product dimensions: 8.38 (w) x 10.90 (h) x 0.17 (d)

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