cover image The Magic Boot

The Magic Boot

Remy Simard. Annick Press, $5.95 (24pp) ISBN 978-1-55037-410-0

Simard and Pratt use a hard-sell attempt at humor to glue this fairy tale/geography lesson/creation tale together, but the wisp of a story that emerges barely supports the punchline. Pipo's feet are so enormous that he can ``win races without even moving""-and what is his poor mother to do about keeping him in shoe leather? Enter a good fairy, who supplies magical red boots that will grow with watering. These boots quickly change hands, so to speak: Pipo forfeits them to an ogre, Pipo's jealous neighbor steals them from the ogre and then buries them. One is found by Pipo's sister, who throws it into the sea-whereupon it becomes a certain boot-shaped European peninsula. The ending may surprise the first time around, but falls flat with repeated readings. Moreover, the story lacks internal logic (how can the gargantuan boots fit the jealous neighbor's feet?) and leaves loose ends (what happens to the other boot?). Velvety hues and thick black lines rendered in acrylics heighten the absurdity but don't deepen the story. All in all, this is more of a long joke than a complete story. Ages 4-7. (Sept.)