cover image Mama’s Work Shoes

Mama’s Work Shoes

Caron Levis, illus. by Vanessa Brantley-Newton. Abrams, $16.99 (40p) ISBN 978-1-4197-2554-8

Perry and her mother spend a lot of time together, so much so that Perry knows all of her mother’s shoes by heart. She’s even learned to anticipate the day’s activities by their sounds, from the “swish-swish” of slippers to the “pat-put” of puddle-jumping boots. One morning, the unfamiliar “click-clack” of new shoes across the kitchen floor has the child admiring her mother’s high-heeled pumps, until she learns that it’s the start of “the new routine.” At first, Perry pushes back with tears and tantrums and even attempts to hide the shoes. Helped by Nan, her kindly caregiver, and equipped with her mother’s assurance that her “go-to-work shoes” transform each afternoon into “hurry-home-to-you shoes,” Perry eventually finds her groove. Levis skillfully relates the push-and-pull negotiations between a young child and a parent returning to work, and Brantley-Newton’s digital artwork renders the related range of emotional expression. Ages 3–7. [em](Sept.) [/em]