When her hand-me-down shoes don't fit any more, it is time for Ella Mae to get new ones. She is ecstatic, but when she and her mother arrive at Mr. Johnson's shoe store, her happiness quickly turns to dejection: Ella Mae is unable to try on the shoes because of her skin color. Determined to fight back, Ella Mae and her friend Charlotte work tirelessly to collect and restore old shoes, wiping, washing, and polishing them to perfection. The girls then have their very own shoe sale, giving the other African American members of their community a place to buy shoes where they can be treated fairly and "try on all the shoes they want."
Set in the South during the time of segregation, this lushly illustrated picture book brings the civil rights era to life for contemporary readers as two young girls find an inventive way to foil Jim Crow laws.
"It isn't easy to make a story seem as if it's telling itself, but this gripping piece of historical fiction does just that. Meyer's (Black Radishes) prose is vividly precise in its detail; the girls' optimism and determination is almost palpable, and when Ella Mae and Charlotte prepare their inventory for sale, the smell of soap, polish, and leather seems to fill the air. Velasquez (A Thirst for Home), working in oils, takes an unobtrusive, documentary-style approach, but he also cleverly combines warm, earth-toned settings with the bright pastel dresses worn by Ella Mae and Charlotte, so that his heroines literally and unequivocally shine through." -- Publishers Weekly
|Recommended Age||5 - 9|
|Publication Date||Jan 30, 2015|