________________ CM . . . . Volume XXI Number 29 . . . . April 3, 2015


Abukacha’s Shoes.

Tamar Tessler.
Toronto, ON: Groundwood Books/House of Anansi Press, 2015.
32 pp., hardcover & pdf, $18.95 (hc.), $16.95 (pdf).
ISBN 978-1-55498-459-6 (hc.), ISBN 978-1-55498-459-6 (pdf).

Preschool-grade 2 / Ages 4-7.

Review by Alison Schroeder.

**** /4


Everybody knew Abukacha because he had the biggest shoes in the whole wide world.

Abukacha had bought them long ago. With those shoes, he had worked in the fields, gone fishing, traveled around the world ... and the shoes had become worn out, quite tattered and filthy dirty.


This retold folk tale centers around a pair of shoes that keep coming back to Abukacha no matter how many different ways he tries to get rid of them. He throws them away, sinks them into the ocean, and sets them off on a hot air balloon, but no matter what, they always show up on his doorstep the next day. Finally after the shoes land in his garden with the daffodils, Abukacha realizes that they belong there, and they become a part of the garden.

     This story follows the traditional children's story pattern of repetition and is very well written. It is easy to follow, humourous and silly.

     The illustrations in Abukacha’s Shoes are in a mixed media style, including cutout old family photos, torn bits of paper, and drawings. The author used photos of her grandmother’s relatives from Poland who perished in the Holocaust in hopes of reminding readers that every name has a face and a life of its own. The illustrations are also very textural and whimsical; when the family dog Marco (and an unnamed cat) show up in the story, they are wearing formal wear.

Highly Recommended.

Alison Schroeder has a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Manitoba and is a lover of children’s books.

To comment on this title or this review, send mail to cm@umanitoba.ca.

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