Birdie’s Big-Girl Shoes by Sujean Rim
Posted by: Cindy Dobrez and Lynn Rutan
Cindy: What a fun book! I remember the first pair of my mother’s big-girl shoes I played dress-up in; they were pumpkin orange leather with a matching handbag and I thought I was something! I’ve had a love of shoes ever since, and always pack an obscene number when I travel. None of mine are as grand as those rendered in Birdie’s Big-Girl Shoes (Little, Brown, 2009) in watercolor and collage as Birdie gets permission for her first outing in some shoes from her mother’s vast supply. How to choose? Birdie tries a variety of them, but instead of making her feel glamorous, they hinder her attempts to have fun and she opts to wait until she is older. For now, she sticks with her barefoot shoes that serve her well. Little girls are sure to eat this up, but the message that it is sometimes best to wait for grownup things will not get lost amongst the stillettos and wobbly peep-toes.
Lynn: Ah – that eternal female dilemma – fashion vs. function! Rim wonderfully captures a little girl’s fascination with her mother’s grown-up glamor and nicely balances it with Birdie’s realization that she isn’t ready to give up play yet. Rim’s background as a shoe and accessory designer adds solid footing to this charming book. The illustrations are wonderfully girly, with swoops of color, ruffles and ribbons. Monster, Birdie’s little white dog adds a nice comic touch too. I especially enjoyed the wonderful two-page spread showing the mother’s shoe closet! No wonder Birdie was tempted! I’m yearning for some of those myself. That black and white polka-dotted pair have my name all over them!