The Girl, The Bear and The Magic Shoes
Julia Donaldson and Lydia Monks
Macmillan Children’s Books
Perhaps like me you have a particular penchant for shoes, especially trainers (and boots).
How would it be then to purchase a brand new sparkly pair of red ones like the little girl in Julia Donaldson’s super new story. Not only that, but to discover that they are magic and have the power to morph into every possible kind of footwear you need at exactly the right moment, as you attempt to flee ‘Click-click!’ from a backpack-wearing polar bear, ‘Pit-a-pat’.
The first transformation comes at the bottom of an imposing-looking, seemingly unclimbable mountain. Perfect for ‘Crunch, crunch’-ing upwards, albeit pursued still by that bear.
Once at the summit, descent is necessary, so another change produces ‘Whee’, whizzy skis,
then squelch-withstanding yellow wellies,
followed by super splishy,splashy flippers.
All the while though, that bear is hot on the trail; but why would a polar bear be pursuing the child so eagerly? That would be telling – certainly he has no egregious intent.
To find out, hot foot it down to your nearest bookshop (no not shoe shop), bag a copy and discover for yourself.
Oh! I forgot to mention, there’s one final transformation before the shoes reassume their initial jazzy red trainers incarnation.
Lydia Monks’ wonderfully expressive, alluringly bright, funny illustrations sparkle as much as Donaldson’s text. The latter is sprinkled liberally with delicious-sounding onomatopoeia (perfect for helping to develop sound/symbol associations) and irresistibly join-in-able.
To add to the delights, those cracking, textured scenes provide a super tactile experience for young hands to explore. Look out too for the visiting ladybird that keeps popping into and out of view.
A sure fire winner!