Sunday, November 11, 2012

Book of the Month: Those Shoes by Maribeth Boelts

Thanksgiving is approaching and we are helping children to learn about being thankful. The winter holidays are also approaching and it's a time when we often talk to children about giving and being kind. Hopefully these are lessons that we teach our children all year long and this is a great book to help start those discussions.

I love this book for may reasons. The main character is being raised by his grandmother - that family structure is a reality for many children and this book makes it seem so normal that children can easily relate. He wants a pair of sneakers that are just beyond the family's budget, again another reality for many children. In the end, he finds a pair at a thrift shop but they are too small, and he gives them to a friend. The book touches on giving to others, kindness, bullying (the other children laugh at Jeremy's Velcro sneakers), and friendship.

I do take issues with two words in the book: "rich" and "dumb." Jeremy goes to the thrift shop in the hopes that some "rich" child donated the sneakers. The word rich is not concrete to a young child and people who aren't rich donate to thrift shops. Jeremy also uses the word dumb in a moment of frustration. But don't let those words discourage you from picking up this book. The lessons far outweigh those two words.

Related Activity:
Have children donate items to a thrift shop.


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