Name of Book: Shoe Magic
Author: Nikki Grimes
Illustrator: Terry Widener
Publisher: Orchard Books, A Grolier Company
Audience: Age 4 – 10
Summary: The author, through colorful illustrations, has put together short poems about wearing different pairs of shoes. The shoes allow the wearers to step into dreams of the future from playing on a football team in cleats to wearing soft soles as a nurse.
Literary elements at work in the story
Setting: Children stepping into their dreams for the future.
Characterization: Each poem has different characters that are pictured in the colorful illustrations.
Plot: Each poem explains a different goal or dream that can be reached by wearing the appropriate shoes.
Theme: Whatever the dream it can be reached depending upon what steps are taken.
Point of View: Each poem is from the point of view of the dreamer.
Style: Illustrated book of poetry.
Gender: Both males and females are subjects of these poems. The roles that each gender dreams of are not stereotypical. There’s a boy who dreams of becoming a tap dancer, a boy who dreams of being a nurse, and a girl who dreams of playing football.
Race: The illustrations reflect light skinned and dark skinned children throughout the book and would be relatable to children of most races.
Culture: The poems demonstrate dreams which are relatable to most Western cultures but may not be relatable to children who are from impoverished backgrounds.
Ability: There is no reflection of children with disabilities and what their dreams might look like.
Theological Conversation Partners:
Scripture: 1 Corinthians 12:4-11
Theology: We are all created by God and each child of God has God inspired gifts for good. Our dreams are God’s way to challenge us to discover our gifts.
Faith Talk Questions:
- What shoes do you think God wants you to put on?
- As we grow do you think that God places new shoes (dreams) for us to try on?
- If you could be anything when you grow up, what would you be?
Review prepared by Union Presbyterian Seminary student Jill Kimbirl