cover image Shoeshine Shirley

Shoeshine Shirley

Leah Komaiko. Doubleday Books for Young Readers, $14.95 (1pp) ISBN 978-0-385-30526-6

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.)