Those Shoesby Maribeth Boelts, Noah Z. Jones (Illustrator)
All Jeremy wants is a pair of those shoes, the ones everyone at school seems to be wearing. Though Jeremy’s grandma says they/b>
"In this witty, wise picture book, Boelts presents a kid’s-eye view of a consumer fad that rages through school at gale force." — Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books (starred review)
All Jeremy wants is a pair of those shoes, the ones everyone at school seems to be wearing. Though Jeremy’s grandma says they don’t have room for "want," just "need," when his old shoes fall apart at school, he is more determined than ever to have those shoes, even a thrift-shop pair that are much too small. But sore feet aren’t much fun, and Jeremy soon sees that the things he has — warm boots, a loving grandma, and the chance to help a friend — are worth more than the things he wants.
Jeremy desperately wants a pair of advertised sneakers. "I have dreams about those shoes. Black high-tops. Two white stripes." In fact, some of his classmates already own them. However, money is tight, and his grandmother reminds him that there is a difference between what he wants and what he needs (he needs winter boots). He buys with his own money a used pair of the cool sneakers even though they are too small, saying "sometimes shoes stretch," but ends up with bandage-covered feet. This story exposes the value many children place on wearing the same cool clothing as or fitting in with the in-crowd; however, a message of generosity shines through when Jeremy gives his prized sneakers to a friend in need who has smaller feet. Illustrations done in pencil, ink, and watercolors effectively depict the grays and browns of the wintertime inner-city setting, the institutional greens and blues of the school, and the warm hues of this African-American home. The characters' faces, drawn with thin lines, wide-set eyes, and a variety of skin tones, are expressive. A poignant, thought-provoking book.
Kirsten CutlerCopyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Meet the Author
Maribeth Boelts is a former preschool teacher who has written numerous books for children. She lives in Iowa with her husband and three children.
Noah Z. Jones is the illustrator of NOT NORMAN: A GOLDFISH STORY, THE MONSTER IN THE BACKPACK, and WELCOME TO THE BED AND BISCUIT. He lives in Maine.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
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I found this book to be filled with stereotypes that are completely insensitive and offensive, particularly toward African-Americans. The message- of empathy, sharing,and gratitude for the little one may have- in this book, framed in these stereotypes, is compromised. The text and illustrations reinforce negative portrayals (of its subjects) for its likely audience, including educators; as well as presenting potentially humiliating experiences for children in similar circumstances if read to a group/class. For example, the main character is an African-American boy who: lives in what appear to be projects evidenced by such buildings outside of his window and who lives with his very large grandmother who "sits down heavy"- no visible mother or father; leaning against garbage can in litter-strewn play yard with foot coming out of torn-apart shoes; receiving velcro shoes from the Caucasian guidance counselor who keeps a box of stuff for kids who need things.This book has been selected as a school-wide read-aloud at my inner city school with a predominantly Latino and African-American low-income student population. I am extremely disappointed over the insensitivity and lack of any real critical judgement on the part of the committee that chose it.
This book is about a boy named Jeremy and his friend Antonio that want a new pair of shoes but they cant afford it. This book teaches you about friendship. I recommend this book because it is a good book for all people to read.
It is a humbling story and so true to life for so many children. It teaches children how to be grateful and giving, but it also shows an example on how easily people get caught up on material objects because others have it. I think it is different and every child should read it.
By: Jody and Katie This review is from: Those Shoes(library binding) We enjoyed the book and feel it would be a good book to teach tolerance and compassion to students in a classroom. Many students will be able to make personal connection to this book. The pictures and colors are mundane and do not draw the reader in, however they work well with the story line. Jeremy is a typical elementary student who struggles with the peer pressures of school and the balance of home life.