Mama’s Work Shoes

Abrams. Sept. 2019. 40p. Tr $16.99. ISBN 9781419725548.
PreS-Gr 1–Young Perry knows all about her mother’s shoes, the sounds they make, and what they are for, but one day a pair of “click-clack” high heels disrupts their usual routine. Mama drops Perry off at Nan’s house while she goes to work. Perry decides she does not care for Mama’s click-clack shoes, and just to be safe she hides all of Mama’s shoes—humorously stuffing them into houseplants and under sofa cushions—to keep her from leaving again. However, Mama soon discovers the ruse and puts Perry at ease, explaining that while in the morning her click-clack heels are “go-to-work shoes” but in the afternoon they become “hurry-home-to-you shoes.” Though being separated is still hard, Perry can enjoy playing at Nan’s, comforted by the knowledge that Mama will always come home to her. This sweet story is told in simple sentences with the rich phonology of onomatopoeia with Mama’s collection of shoes serving as a clever window to their lives. No other parent is mentioned. The illustrations are digitally enhanced with elements of collage and charcoal pencil using soft colors and rich texture. The characters are depicted with varied skin tones and expressive features.
VERDICT A gentle read-aloud for young children, portraying the separation anxiety that comes when a parent returns to the workforce.

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