My Kicks: A Sneaker Story!
Susan Verde, Author
Katie Kath, Illustrator
Abrams Books for Young Readers, Fiction, Apr. 11, 2017
Suitable for Ages: 5-7
Themes: A boy out grows his sneakers, Buying new shoes, Old sneakers have stories
Opening: Mom looked down at my feet and shook her head. “Those shoes have seen their day!”
Book Jacket Synopsis: There’s nothing like an old pair of Kicks. Sneakers have stories to tell. There’s the wear and tear from the first time they rode on a skateboard…the splatters of paint from an art project…the sticky drips from a delicious Popsicle on a hot summer day.
So when a young boy needs to buy a new pair, he fears they won’t compare. But what if some new kicks mean he might jump higher or run faster? What if having bigger shoes to fill means that new memories are just around the corner?
My Kicks is a tribute to how our favorite things reveal who we are and where we’ve come from, and celebrates the excitement in growing up and moving on.
Why I like this book:
Susan Verde has written a rollicking story that will resonate with most children — replacing a dependable pair of sneakers with new ones. Although kids like getting new shoes, they also feel an attachment to favorite pair of shoes. The boy in the story doesn’t want to let go of his favorite red sneakers. “No way! No how!” His sneakers may be worn-out and smelly, but they have great stories to tell.
As he heads to the store with his mom he recollects how he learned to tie his shoes, splashes through puddles, finds his balance on a skateboard and climbs trees. Many memories are made with a good pair of sneakers. The message is simple, clever, and quirky, but will be appeal to both readers and parents. “Each pair represents a slice of life and transitioning from one stage to the next,” says Verde.
Katie Kath’s ink and watercolor illustrations bring this story to life. They are diverse, lively and expressive. The vibrant color will appeal to young audiences. She also uses white space well to hone the readers’ focus on the boy’s journey. She captures the boy’s changing moods as he moves from reluctance to excitement at what he may do with his new yellow sneakers. Visit Katie Kath at her website.
Resources: Parents and children will enjoy reading this delightful story together. Reminisce about your own favorite pair of sneakers growing up. This is a great opportunity for parents and children to share their stories about their favorite pair of sneakers. Make sure you peek under the outside book jacket. Children will be delighted to find a shoe-tying guide on the cover.
Susan Verde is the author of The Museum, You and Me, I Am Yoga and The Water Princess. She lives just steps from the ocean in East Hampton, NY, with her three children. Her favorite kicks are her silver metallic high-tops. Visit Susan Verde at her website.
Every Friday, authors and KidLit bloggers post a favorite picture book. To see a complete listing of all the Perfect Picture Books (PPB) with resources, please visit author Susanna Leonard Hill’s Perfect Picture Books.
*I received a review copy of My Kicks from the publisher. The opinions in this review are entirely my own.