FICTION

My Kicks: A Sneaker Story!

My Kicks: A Sneaker Story! illus. by Katie Kath. 40p. ebook available. Abrams. Apr. 2017. Tr $16.95. ISBN 9781419723094.
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K-Gr 2—Trying to convince his mom that his worn-out sneakers are irreplaceable, a young boy recalls past adventures in his "old pair of kicks." At the shoe store, his mom says, "We aren't leaving without a new pair," so the boy tries on a virgin set and imagines future successes he might enjoy while wearing shiny new shoes. The ink and watercolor images, which depict an energetic young boy conjuring up past experiences and future exploits within an urban setting, are stronger than the text. Scenes portray the boy playing in the park, walking along city sidewalks, and skateboarding on the steps of the New York Public Library. The voice is sometimes lofty rather than childlike, implying that good times are to be remembered—"These sneakers have soul in their soles. Joy in each hole. A certain stick-to-the-sidewalk from gooey gum." Yet this cool kid's adventures offer general appeal, especially to parents of children who are attached to worn-out shoes. A shoe-tying guide on the book's cover is unfortunately underneath the jacket, making it inaccessible to most library audiences.
VERDICT Delightful illustrations help balance an uneven text. A versatile addition for storytimes.

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