Shoe-la-la! by Karen Beaumont
By Bianca Schulze, The Children’s Book Review
Published: January 14, 2011
by Karen Beaumont (Author), Leuyen Pham (Illustrator)
Reading level: Ages 4-8
Hardcover: 40 pages
Publisher: Scholastic Press (January 1, 2011)
Who doesn’t like a good pair of shoes? Bestselling and award-winning author Karen Beaumont certainly does. Shoe-la-la is Beaumont’s latest rhyming picture book—and it’s all about, you guessed it, shoes. Four girls—Emily, Ashley, Kaitlyn, and Claire—go on a shopping expedition to find the perfect pair. The girls truly have the ultimate shoe experience in what appears to be an upmarket shoe store. The salesman, a European looking gent complete with curling moustache, brings the girls copious amounts of shoes in every possible style and color. However, sometimes decisions can be so hard to make. In the end, it is the bedazzled versions that the girls make at home that win them over. Rhyme and rhythm come with ease to Beaumont. Her text always flows and has a level of playfulness that enables illustrator LeUyen Pham to truly go to town on the illustrations.
Eeny, meeny, my oh my!
Just don’t know which shoes to buy.
Beginning with the sparkling and show-stopping cover, every picture is filled with razzle-dazzle, pizazz, and personality. Using her signature block-print artwork, Pham transforms the story, word for word, into the ultimate girlie experience. She uses mostly pinks and purples in vivid hues, combining them with softer shades and splashes of other less feminine colors which add individuality to each of the characters. At the beginning of the story, two of the girls are dressed in sneakers and one in a pair of Mary Janes and the other in a pair of ballet flats—this carefully selected attire also gives each of the girls an identity of their own. On the whole, Shoe-la-la is deliciously diva-ish, but Pham’s characterisations and humor add the grounded touch that a book of this nature requires.
Ooh-la-la (ha,ha,ha), Shoe-la-la is a fun and feminine treat that I can imagine will be gifted to children, but specifically with some shoe-loving moms in mind.
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