cover image Shoeshine Whittaker

Shoeshine Whittaker

Helen Ketteman. Walker & Company, $15.95 (32pp) ISBN 978-0-8027-8714-9

Ketteman (Heat Wave) serves up another rootin'-tootin' tall tale, this one concerning an enterprising young fellow (""Shoeshine's the name, and shoeshine's the game"") who happens upon the town of Mudville and reckons he's hit pay dirt. Newly shined boots lose their gleam quickly on the grubby streets, however, and the folks of Mudville take Shoeshine's ""guarantee"" seriously. It looks like curtains for Shoeshine when the sheriff accuses him of false advertising. But, ever the entrepreneur, Shoeshine figures out a way to satisfy his customers--and himself. Ketteman's colorful yarn is all twang and swagger, sheer catnip to read-aloud enthusiasts, and Goto (Shooting Star) matches her hyperbole with his vigorously imaginative illustrations. From the nearly life-size spurred boot planted firmly in the mud in the opening scene to the sheriff looming large with badge shining brightly, his paintings offer an exaggerated realism that sets readers squarely in the middle of the action. Ages 5-8. (Oct.)