cover image Shoe Baby

Shoe Baby

Joyce Dunbar, , illus. by Polly Dunbar. . Candlewick, $15.99 (40pp) ISBN 978-0-7636-2779-9

Joyce Dunbar (Tell Me Something Happy Before I Go to Sleep ) teams up with her daughter Polly Dunbar (Dog Blue ) for a nursery rhyme–style romp. A cute and nearly baldheaded baby commandeers a fanciful red shoe and embarks on amazing adventures; to each group of exotic-looking creatures the infant encounters, he offers up a cheery salutation. "This very same baby/ Flew in that shoe!/ To the birds in the air he said,/ 'How do you do?' " The accompanying illustrations shows the tyke gleefully soaring in the shoe—which has conveniently spouted wings and a propeller—and mingling with a deliciously silly flock (the work of Ronald Searle comes to mind), created from cutout paper and paints. Eventually, the shoe's real owner reclaims his property—and this figure, who first appears to be an angry "giant," turns out to be a very stylish Daddy, with an equally soigné Mommy close behind: " 'My shoe,' said Papa./ 'My runaway shoe!/ I could find only one,/ But now I have two!' " Youngsters will be captivated by the light-as-air pictures and the irresistible repetition of the "Oooo" sound. Ages 2-5. (Aug.)