Those Shoes
Those Shoes
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Annotation: Jeremy, who longs to have the black high tops that everyone at school seems to have but his grandmother cannot afford, is excited when he sees them for sale in a thrift shop and decides to buy them even though they are the wrong size.
Catalog Number: #4587520
Format: Paperback
All Formats: Search
Publisher: Candlewick Press
Copyright Date: 2007
Edition Date: 2009
Illustrator: Jones, Noah
Pages: 40
Availability: Available
ISBN: 0-7636-4284-3
ISBN 13: 978-0-7636-4284-6
Dewey: E
LCCN: 2006051839
Dimensions: 25 x 26 cm.
Language: English
Reviews:
ALA Booklist
Boelts tackles both the appeal of high-tops and the difficulty of doing the right thing in a story narrated by African American Jeremy. In the opening pages, Jeremy lies on the floor of his apartment, drawing while his grandmother reads. She answers his request for "those shoes" with, "There's no room for want' around here st need.' And what you need are new boots for winter." Jeremy notes how many classmates are wearing the black shoes with white stripes. He is humiliated when one of his own shoes comes apart during recess, and the well-meaning guidance counselor gives him a bright-blue pair of shoes decorated with uncool superheroes. Jeremy wants high-tops so much that he settles for a thrift-shop pair that are really too small. After some delay, he gives in to his kinder impulses and passes them on to a smaller friend. Ultimately, he gets his reward ow d makes great use of his new winter boots. Jones' autumn-toned illustrations wonderfully complement Boelts' sweet-natured main characters and nondidactic life lesson.
Kirkus Reviews
The hottest fad can also be the most expensive and out of reach for children in limited financial circumstances. <p>The hottest fad can also be the most expensive and out of reach for children in limited financial circumstances. Jeremy, living with his Grandma, dreams of wearing the latest cool black high-tops with two white stripes. But as Grandma points out, "There's no room for want' around here--just need' " and what Jeremy needs and gets is a new pair of winter boots. Jeremy's quest for new sneakers takes on more urgency when his old pair fall apart, and the only choice is the Velcro baby-blue set meant for little kids found in the school's donation box by the guidance counselor. Even Grandma understands and together they search several thrift shops and actually find the coveted black high-tops, but they're too small. Buying them anyway, Jeremy makes a heartfelt decision to put them to a more practical and generous use. Boelts blends themes of teasing, embarrassment and disappointment with kindness and generosity in a realistic interracial school scenario bringing affecting closure to a little boy's effort to cope in a world filled with materialistic attractions and distractions. Muted browns/greens/blues done in watercolors, pencils and ink, and digitally arranged, add to the story's expressive affirmation of what is really important. <i>(Picture book. 6-9)</p>
School Library Journal
K-Gr 3-Jeremy desperately wants a pair of advertised sneakers. "I have dreams about those shoes. Black high-tops. Two white stripes." In fact, some of his classmates already own them. However, money is tight, and his grandmother reminds him that there is a difference between what he wants and what he needs (he needs winter boots). He buys with his own money a used pair of the cool sneakers even though they are too small, saying "sometimes shoes stretch," but ends up with bandage-covered feet. This story exposes the value many children place on wearing the same cool clothing as or fitting in with the in-crowd; however, a message of generosity shines through when Jeremy gives his prized sneakers to a friend in need who has smaller feet. Illustrations done in pencil, ink, and watercolors effectively depict the grays and browns of the wintertime inner-city setting, the institutional greens and blues of the school, and the warm hues of this African-American home. The characters' faces, drawn with thin lines, wide-set eyes, and a variety of skin tones, are expressive. A poignant, thought-provoking book.-Kirsten Cutler, Sonoma County Library, CA Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information.
Word Count: 941
Reading Level: 3.1
Interest Level: K-3
Accelerated Reader: reading level: 3.1 / points: 0.5 / quiz: 119514 / grade: Lower Grades
Reading Counts!: reading level:3.2 / points:1.0 / quiz:Q49215
Lexile: AD550L
Guided Reading Level: L
Fountas & Pinnell: L

"In this witty, wise picture book, Boelts presents a kid’s-eye view of a consumer fad that rages through school at gale force." — Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books (starred review)

All Jeremy wants is a pair of those shoes, the ones everyone at school seems to be wearing. Though Jeremy’s grandma says they don’t have room for "want," just "need," when his old shoes fall apart at school, he is more determined than ever to have those shoes, even a thrift-shop pair that are much too small. But sore feet aren’t much fun, and Jeremy soon sees that the things he has — warm boots, a loving grandma, and the chance to help a friend — are worth more than the things he wants.


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