Uncle Wally's Old Brown Shoe


Uncle Wally's Old Brown Shoe, inspired by the familiar nursery rhyme The House That Jack Built, follows the course of one very unusual shoe as it travels through a fascinating, imaginative world to encounter an assortment of quirky characters. The imaginative text and cumulative story are sure to enthrall young readers, as will the detailed illustrations.

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Uncle Wally's Old Brown Shoe, inspired by the familiar nursery rhyme The House That Jack Built, follows the course of one very unusual shoe as it travels through a fascinating, imaginative world to encounter an assortment of quirky characters. The imaginative text and cumulative story are sure to enthrall young readers, as will the detailed illustrations.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Edwards (The Cat’s Pajamas) uses a “House That Jack Built”–style verse as scaffolding for a series of enigmatic, beautifully drafted paintings. “This is Uncle Wally’s old brown shoe,” he begins. The laceup shoe is actually a shoe-car; it appears in every picture, passed mysteriously from one animal to the next. At the outset it sits surrounded by an admiring crowd of miniature toys and animals, including a baby alligator, several birds, and a kitten in striped pajamas who hops right in: “This is the kitten/ That drove around in Uncle Wally’s old brown shoe.” Visual elements—the striped pajamas, a tiger, the face of a king, a small airplane, and many more—proliferate, morph, and refer to themselves in endlessly imaginative ways, as when echoes of the tiger’s beard can be seen in the wings of a moth and again on the king on a playing card. As the rhyme circles around to the beginning, questions abound. Is the tiger, in fact, Uncle Wally? And if he dreamt the whole thing, who is the tiger in the dream? Much speculation will fuel re-readings. Ages 4–8. (Oct.)
Quill & Quire
"Astounding illustrations...Edwards' artwork, vividly rendered in watercolour, pencil, and gouache, has a vintage feel that contrasts with the growing trend toward graphically and digitally inspired illustration in children's books...It is difficult to argue with the obvious skill involved in creating such intensely detailed, meticulously layered illustrations...With a lilting sing-song text and art that is delightful and fun...this book will appeal to keen-eyed youngsters and nostalgic older readers alike."
Tucson Unified School District
"The combination of extraordinary, visually-complex graphics and a lilting, fanciful story will make for a magical adventure for young readers."
NJ Youth Services
"While the text is fun, it is the illustrations that make this book one to linger over, taking in all the beautiful subtle details found on each page."
Best Books of 2012 January Magazine
"Children will enjoy the solid rhymes and deeply detailed illustrations, but I’ve a hunch that collectors will be on the list for this book, as well."
Spirituality & Practice
"This wonderful children's picture book written and illustrated by Wallace Edwards offers transport to an imaginative world of wonders where a diverse group of animals and special collection of things are all bonded together to form a colorful and zany new community...Designed for children 4 through 8 years old, the illustrations are remarkable paintings filled with animals and inanimate things. By the end of Uncle Wally's Old Brown Shoe, both adult readers and children lucky enough to receive this book as a gift will find themselves wanting to enter the wonder worlds of Edwards again and again in order to spot new delights!"
CM Magazine
"[A] bright, vibrant, and detailed work. Young readers will be drawn by the highly fanciful, delightfully colourful art. The imaginative illustrations have a dream-like quality about them. One can gaze at them for long periods of time, wondering how it all fits together...To walk through Edwards' illustrations is to walk through a garden of limitless possibilities—a garden from which anything can blossom."
Children's Literature - Ken Marantz and Sylvia Marantz
This wildly imaginative cumulative adventure begins with an old brown shoe, first introduced in the text surrounded by an assortment of exotic characters. Next, "This is the kitten/That drove around in Uncle Wally's old brown shoe." A vignette of the kitten appears above the text across from the full-page illustration of the driving kitten. This pattern is repeated with a pig in a fancy hat that tickles the kitten; a frog on stilts that chases the pig; a bee with "smoochable" lips that kisses the pig; on through seven more odd creatures and their activities. Finally, a button from the pajamas of a tiger cat rolls away into a dream...only to become a wheel on that very old brown shoe in a repeat of the first illustration. Edwards crowds the large pages with many more things than are mentioned in the text. Using watercolors, gouache, pencils, and his imagination he creates a variety of plants convenient for hiding in for the naturalistic frogs, toy alligators, drumming dinosaurs, fish out of water, etc. Each page is a tale in itself, all equally mad nonsense, inspiring repeated viewing. Reviewer: Ken Marantz and Sylvia Marantz
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781459801547
  • Publisher: Orca Book Publishers
  • Publication date: 10/1/2012
  • Pages: 32
  • Age range: 4 - 8 Years
  • Lexile: AD620L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 11.30 (w) x 9.50 (h) x 0.20 (d)

Meet the Author

Wallace Edwards is a graduate of the Ontario College of Art and an award-winning author and illustrator. His paintings and illustrations are found in public and private collections, books, magazines and on public display in Canada and the United States. Wallace lives in Yarker, Ontario. For more information, visit www.wallace-edwards-art.com.

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