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Shoeshine Shirley

Shoeshine Shirley

by Leah Komaiko, Franz Spohn (Illustrator)

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Steeped in a big-time, all-American ambience, this highly imaginative collaboration from the pair responsible for Broadway Banjo Bill fairly crackles with spunk and pizazz. Shirley, larger than life, radiates enthusiasm, especially for her job as neighborhood cobbler--and she really knows her business: ``She knows / whose shoes / stack the news, / whose push the pretzel stand. / She knows whose shoes / stop the cars, / whose start the marching band.'' From cleats to clown shoes, high tops to hand-sewn moccasins, she treats them all. Gorgeous illustrations in Barnum and Bailey colors pull punchy perspectives on wildly intriguing supporting characters. Oddly cadenced verses tumble in tandem with zany visuals, establishing a pace that is truly tantalizing. Komaiko and Spohn have put their best feet forward. Ages 4-8. (Sept.)
School Library Journal
PreS-Shoeshine Shirley is the star of this insistently bright picture book. Customers at her repair shop include Frankenstein, a large horse, and assorted people from all walks of life. Her final customer is a little girl whose red mary janes she rehabilitates with heels that have a nifty picture of a cat on each; the child runs outside saying, "`Come on, shoes/let's check your traction-/back outside/to join the action!'" Both words and pictures almost bounce off the page. The rhymed text is a plotless catalogue of fancy footwear and equally fanciful wearers. The irreverent, contemporary tone is a great match for the ultra-bold (lots of red and yellow), humorous watercolor-and-ink pictures. The perspectives are distorted-most figures are seen from below, with enlarged feet and smaller heads. A comic group of mice appears throughout, adding a picture-puzzle element to many of the illustrations. Some of the cheerfulness verges on the demonic, but readers who are attracted by neon colors, shoes, or strong rhythms should enjoy this one. Not essential, but fun.-Lauralyn Persson, Wilmette Public Library, IL

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Random House Children's Books
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