April 6, 2010

New Shoes

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

The Red Shoes"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.


  1. Sounds like a fun book. I'll have to see if our little library system has it. My daughter LOVES shoes. Fortunately we got enough hand-me-down shoes a while ago (probably 20 pairs) to satify her cravings. We're getting close to the end of them though, so then we'll have to start actually buying them. Hmmm...shoe box crafts...it seems like I should know some, but none are coming to mind. And your family Easter picture is beautiful!

  2. I sat 6 boxes aside this weekend, too - but I'm a blank for ideas :( The book, however, looks wonderful!

  3. Forget the boxes! Have your kids make shoes! There is a Ramona book- I am drawing a blank as to which one it is, but in it she makes bunny slippers out of paper towels. (The brown kind that come from public restrooms.) I read the book when I was 7/8 and had to make them. I remember sneaking my stapler and some markers in my swim bag so I could make them in the changing room after swim lessons. I bet your kids could come up with something or even better fix up an old pair real fancy.

  4. shoe boxes make great puppet theaters and diarama (sp?) boxes for play dough creations and science projects or you can tape/staple/glue them to make cheapo doll houses that they can paint and dress with scrap fabrics and such.

  5. You could have them make jewelry boxes out of the shoe boxes. Or a memory box. Or maybe a "special trinket" box of sorts. You know, for that rock that she found and wont throw away. Or the leaf she found on your walk the other day.


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