Monday, March 30, 2015

A Picture Book a Day for a Year: Day 345

Picture Book: Those Shoes

Author: Maribeth Boelts

Illustrator: Nah Z. Jones 

Summary: Jeremy longs for “those shoes”, the ones featured on the big billboard, the ones many other boys are wearing. He especially yearns for them when one of his shoes falls apart at school and he is given a pair of kiddie shoes from the guidance counselor’s box. His classmates laugh at him, but not Antonio. When Jeremy and his grandmother go shoe shopping, they discover the price is too steep. They search at local thrift shops and find a pair. They are tight, but Jeremy is thrilled anyway and takes them home, hoping they will stretch. They don’t stretch, and he gets sores on his feet. He has to resort to wearing the kiddie shoes again. Meanwhile, Jeremy and Antonio become friends. Jeremy notices that Antonio has duct tape holding his shoes together. When Antonio visits Jeremy’s house, he sees “those shoes” and asks Jeremy why he doesn’t wear them. Jeremy shrugs. The next morning Jeremy tries on the too tight shoes one more time and then secretly leaves them on Antonio’s stoop. At school, Jeremy has mixed feelings when Antonio shows up with those shoes on until Antonio quietly thanks Jeremy.   

Hanna’s Comments: This story gets to the heart of issues that many children and teens struggle with, consumerism, brand consciousness, and desiring what peers have. Usually, the crux of these matters are coveting, idolatry, and gluttony, all very human and very common problems that are addressed directly in scripture. I believe it’s good to talk with children directly about these issues, but be honest, not preachy. Confess that these issues don’t go away in childhood. In fact, they often get bigger, more expensive, and more damaging. Share honestly with the children in your faith family about how you personally struggle with status items, coveting, or consumerism. Then talk about confession and repentance. Give them hope for an abundant life that doesn’t involve jealousy, obsession, or being manipulated by marketing.  

Original Publisher & Date of Publication: Candlewick Press, 2007

Age & Grade Appropriateness: 5 and up, K and up 

# of Pages: 40

Available in Spanish? Not at present

Formats other than Book: Video

PBT Category: Post 2K

PBT Topics this Book connects with: acceptance, adaptations/assimilation, choices/decisions, clothes/shoes, conformity, consumerism/consumption/riches, coveting/envy/jealousy, friends/friendship, generosity/giving/offering/stewardship, God’s will, grandparents, gratitude/thanksgiving, humility, idolatry, possessions, poverty, pride, sin, wisdom  

Scripture Connections: You shall not covet anything that is your neighbor’s (Exodus 20:17); you ask and do not receive because you ask wrongly to spend it on your passions (James 4:3); little children, keep yourselves from idols (1 John 5:21)

Idea(s) for Application: Read this book to a group of children who are learning about the struggles of coveting, idolatry, and consumerism.