cover image Shoes Like Miss Alice's

Shoes Like Miss Alice's

Angela Johnson. Scholastic, $15.95 (32pp) ISBN 978-0-531-06814-4

Sara is not at all sure she wants Mama to leave her with a new baby-sitter. Miss Alice nevertheless soon has her dancing to the radio (``These are my dancing shoes, Sara,'' she says), eating a snack, taking a walk (Miss Alice has brought her brown walking shoes) napping (``I'll stay right here. I've got my nap shoes on,'' Miss Alice promises, pulling fuzzy slippers from her bag), and drawing pictures, so that the day passes happily until Mama's return. Johnson (Julius; Humming Whispers, reviewed below) presents a reassuring and in no way saccharine scenario: her simple, direct first-person narrative traces the various curves of the day's emotions, acknowledging that Sara is ``sad'' and ``misses Mama'' even as she learns to trust and enjoy her very special sitter. In his picture-book debut, Page adds gentle, realistic oil paintings that focus largely on Miss Alice and Sara themselves, reinforcing the notion that the day is theirs to share and that the bond between them is precious and unique. Ages 4-7. (Mar.)