A baby's lost shoe occasions a simple story about the cycle of life. Baby loses his red tennis shoe during a blueberry-picking expedition on Ptarmigan Mountain with his family. A search turns up nothing, and the family consigns the shoe to the wilderness. But the shoe is not really lost, at least not to the vole that makes a nest in it or a voracious foraging bear that unknowingly turns the shoe into a planter for a blueberry seed. The following summer, the family returns to the mountain, and Baby, now a toddler, discovers his sprouting shoe and proudly takes it home. "And the next year," concludes Dixon (The Sleeping Lady), in singsong prose typeset on the page like blank verse, "he was the first to pick a single ripe berry, a very sweet ripe berry, from his beautiful blueberry shoe." Zerbetz's (Lucky Hares and Itchy Bears) linocuts in soft blues and raspberry colors play off of the gentle tone of the text, which is superimposed over a patterned background of leaves and flowers. As comforting as a serving of warm blueberry cobbler. Ages 3-up. (Sept.) Copyright 1999 Cahners Business Information.
PreS-Gr 2-In this cumulative tale, Baby loses his shoe while his family picks berries on Ptarmigan Mountain and the adventure begins...for the shoe. The family searches for it in vain; however, a variety of animals discover the little red sneaker throughout the year and use it for a nest, a plaything, and a snack. The tale comes full cycle the next year when the family is berry picking again and finds the shoe, now home to a young blueberry plant. The exuberant linocut illustrations of the family and mountain wildlife are exceptional. Leaf impressions serve as borders around the colorful, folk-style pictures. Together, the words and art capture the joyous family outing and the excitement of each animal's discovery. This book can be used for patterning; repetition; discussion of seasons, plants, and the food chain; and, of course, Alaskan flora and fauna. This delightful, versatile picture book will warm the hearts of readers again and again.-Mollie Bynum, formerly at Chester Valley Elementary School, Anchorage, AK Copyright 1999 Cahners Business Information.
An elegant picture book that manages to combine a good story, some natural history, and unusual illustrations. A family goes up Ptarmigan Mountain to pick blueberries: a mother, a father, a pigtailed older sister, and Baby. With full buckets, they discover Baby has lost a shoe, and despite a search for it, it doesn't turn up. The tiny red sneaker first becomes a nest for a vole, then a plaything for a fox, then a potential morsel for a bear, but in the end, it is covered by earth, seeds, and winter snows. The next year, when the family returns for berry-picking, Babywalking on his own nowfinds his shoe with a blueberry stem growing in it. He carefully carries it home to plant. The illustrations are linocuts in deep rich hues, placed on backgrounds of natural leaf impressions in various matte colors. The sinuous line of the medium is used brilliantly here in the animals' fur and feathers, the solid, friendly figures of the family, and the stylized but recognizable flora, from blueberries to grasses. A tasty offering, laced with nice surprises. (Picture book. 4-8)