cover image Hello, Shoes!

Hello, Shoes!

Joan W. Blos. Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing, $13.95 (32pp) ISBN 978-0-689-81441-9

Clearly speaking to a child's everyday experience, Blos (Bedtime!) and debut illustrator Boyajian follow a boy and his grandfather on a search for the boy's favorite shoes, a pair of red buckled sandals. As they comb through the house, they come across all kinds of interesting things: in the boy's room, for example, ""they found four locomotives, three freight-carrying flat cars, two crisscross warning signals and one caboose with a bell. But no sandal shoes."" (Other locations provide similar, understated lessons in colors and prepositions.) When the boy finally finds his shoes, he is so excited that he determines to buckle them all by himself for the first time--a milestone that the grandfather commemorates with a song and a dance. This sweet slip of a story should strike a chord with very small children, who will understand the seriousness of the boy's quest and appreciate the grandfather's respect for it. Boyajian's straightforward pastel renderings use a variety of formats--full-page spreads, vignettes, spot art--to capture a warm and familiar domestic world, where the relationship between grandpa and grandson is as comfortable as an old pair of shoes. Ages 18 mos.-3 yrs. (May)