April 6, 2010
I hate shoe shopping. Let me clarify... I hate shoe shopping for the kids. One child is bad enough, but somehow two children in a shoe store multiplies the trouble exponentially. One is pulling the boxes down from the shelves as fast as she can to empty them of their contents while the other is begging me to buy her the hideously ugly and impractical shoes she's clutching dramatically to her chest. I turn my back for a minute and they've both taken off - in opposite directions - and by the time I've rounded them back up someone has put away the boxes of shoes I had set aside to buy. I eventually escape from the store with my sanity barely intact... and my wallet $100 lighter.
My kids, however, love shoe shopping. In fact, they love shoes. A in particular. She will pull out all the shoes in her closet and my closet and parade around the house in an assortment of heels, slippers, and flip flops. When I came across this book, it reminded me of her:
The Red Shoes by Eleri Glass
"They call me from the corner, ruby whispers, shiny silver giggles." Thus do the red shoes summon the little girl as she shops with her mother. She hates the parade of dull lace-ups that the clerk brings before her, and she begs her mother for the beautiful and impractical red shoes. But mothers are not easily persuaded...
The story is illustrated in colors as dull and boring as the shoes the mother wants to buy. Only the red shoes burst from the page in brilliant color. I loved the language of the book ("My feet huff, puff, like two tired trains"), but I loved more the playing out of the relationship between the mother and daughter. I know first-hand how strained a mother and daughter can get when there's a battle of wills, but I appreciate how the book ends with a special moment between the two as the little girl is tucked into bed... with her red shoes peeking out from beneath the blankets!
So what about you? Do your kids like shoe shopping? And do you have any suggestions for crafts involving empty kid-size shoe boxes?!? I now have four.