Emma Bowd (text) and Tania McCartney (illustrator), Wonderful Shoes, Windy Hollow Books, May 2021, 32 pp., RRP $25.99 (hbk), ISBN 9781922081988
This is a perfect picture book for pre-schoolers and early primary-aged children. Riffing on the theme of little people in big people’s shoes, Bowd utilises the writer’s toolbox with aplomb. There’s a jaunty rhyme, repetition, alliteration, and lots of onomatopoeia.
The fun begins with:
Tall shoes love to click and clack,
On busy feet which don’t turn back…
CLICK CLACK CLICK CLACK
No doubt children will enjoy singing out the capped sounds that accompany each type of shoe.
Meanwhile, illustrator Tania McCartney has created a fun story within the story where we see an adult in a pair of shoes, swiftly followed by a child in the same shoes in the next spread. McCartney has populated the book with a diverse cast of little people. The adults are portrayed from the waist down – because we’re only interested in their shoes!
This book has been a best-seller at many leading bookshops and was a notable in the Children’s Book Council of Australia awards.
Reviewed by Heather Gallagher