“Rubber Shoes: A lesson in gratitude; Los zapatos de goma: Una leccion de gratitud” Gladys Elizabeth Barbieri

Rated 3 stars *** Big Tent Books. 2011.

RubberShoesALessonInGratitudeIn this bilingual picture book, a young girl is upset with her mother because she picks out ugly, rubber shoes for her when they go shopping instead of pretty ballet slippers. Her goal in life becomes to destroy the shoes, but they prove indestructible. In time, she winds up learning a lesson that will stay with her long past the life of her ugly, rubber shoes.

The storyline of a young girl not liking her shoes and getting several “time outs” for being naughty is basic enough, however, the author uses words like “brisk pace, expression, assortment” and others in telling the story which seem more grown up than that which a young 5 or 6 year old child would use on their own. With the words geared more towards someone in the 9 or 10-year-old age range, I think it would have been better to have the child in the story be older so the words would match her age.

Despite these inconsistencies “Rubber Shoes” has an important lesson to tell so I’ll recommend it, with these reservations, for ages 7-10.


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