A new pair of blue Mary Janes does a lot more than put spring in the step of a girl heading off for a day of school in the big city. Her footwear inspires some outlandish flights of fancy. No sooner does the narrator cross a busy street than she imagines herself "Swinging from a rope, shoes,/ With an antelope, shoes!" and even "Dancing on the moon, shoes,/ With a blue baboon, shoes!" Zaman covers every inch of the spreads with bright, boisterous watercolors that bounce right along with Fitz-Gibbon's (The Patchwork House) sing-song rhyme. Her paintings portray the realistic, exciting bustle of urban life (where grownups in short skirts and high heels stop at a coffee cart on the way to work) as adeptly as the gleefully improbable scenarios of the heroine's imagination (hitching a ride with a blue whale in a city park pond). Her artwork often provides transitions to the sometimes disconnected rhyme (as when the antelope leaps across a stream in a park that seems to feed into a pond where the whale frolics). A fun excursion. Ages 4-6. (Apr.) Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
A young girl heads cheerfully out her front door in her "Two shoes, blue shoes, new shoes, see what I can do shoes." She energetically moves through the city crowd and her imagination romps along as she explores all she can do with her new shoes. "Riding on a whale shoes," and "Find a purple frog shoes." The lively walk culminates with the little girl reaching the ultimate place for new shoes, her school. The rhyming text is upbeat, catchy and will resound admirable with the Pre-K and Kindergarten crowd at storytime. Perfect for any little girl excited about her new shoes! The watercolor illustrations are colorful, cheerful and bursting with energy. The full text of the poem is reprinted on the last page. Also charming are the end paper illustrations, showing blue shoes of every shape and style from various cultures. 2003, Fitzhenry & Whiteside,
— Sharon Oliver
School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 1-Starting with "Two shoes, blue shoes, new shoes,/See what I can do, shoes!" this New York City tale depicts the exhilaration a child experiences when she dons her recently purchased footwear and goes about discovering the joy of happy feet. Though she appears unhurried as she skips, walks, swings from a rope, rides on a whale, etc., readers discover at the conclusion that she has a definite destination and very good reason for wearing new shoes-"Going off to school." Childlike watercolors dominated by shades of blue, orange, and red show the energetic youngster, tresses flying, as she learns all the things her new shoes can do. The rhyming couplets are printed over the double-page illustrations, but the bold, dark type is easy to read. This title is similar in tenor to Susan Rollings's New Shoes, Red Shoes (Orchard, 2000), but both books will be popular with children to whom new shoes are so important.-Maryann H. Owen, Racine Public Library, WI Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
A little girl’s walk to school takes a whimsical turn in this energetic tale from Fitz-Gibbon (The Patchwork House, not reviewed). With her exuberant tootsies shod in brand-new shoes, the young girl cavorts across town. Jaunty rhymes set in a rhythmic cadence propel the verses along as the child’s glee transforms a mundane walk into an exotic adventure. "Mustn’t stop to talk, shoes, / Got too far to walk, shoes!" Fitz-Gibbon’s playful blend of realism and ingenious flights of fancy are infectious. A stroll through the park soon takes on the appearance of a daring safari; readers will be swept along by the child’s enthusiasm as she envisions doing some fancy footwork with a blue baboon on the moon, munching cheese with dangling chimpanzees, and so forth. Zaman’s striking illustrations, depicting the bustling beehive of activity that is a city landscape, effortlessly segues from the actual to the fantastical. Her unique perspectives remain grounded in realism; populated crowd scenes are drawn from the view of the child, with only the other children fully visible amid the mass of torsos and legs of the taller adults. Jolly good fun, Fitz-Gibbon’s tale illuminates for the novitiate what bliss can be brought forth by the acquisition of some new footgear and a sprinkling of imagination. (Picture book. 3-6)
Sally Fitz-Gibbon is a former special education teacher and the author of On Uncle John's Farm, Pig in the Middle,The Patchwork House and Two Shoes, Blue Shoes, New Shoes. She lives with her husband on Bowen Island, British Columbia.