To be honest, I love dogs (and I’m pretty sure I’m not alone)! When I saw Boot & Shoe in new arrivals, I practically squealed with delight at how adorable the scruffy little dogs on the cover were. “Boot and Shoe were born into the same litter, and now they live in the same house.” This is the story of two brothers who do almost everything together. They do have distinct preferences, however. Boot sleeps on the back porch all day, while Shoe is really a “front porch kind of dog.”
When a squirrel runs amok near the house, Boot and Shoe decide to chase it. They lose each other in all of the excitement, and end up on the opposite porch, each wondering where their best friend has gone. What begins as a comical situation soon turns quite alarming: the dogs circle the house forlornly, always just missing each other. Although the reader knows that Boot and Shoe are still at home and safe–a comforting detail–Boot and Shoe do not. Eventually, it begins to rain and Boot and Shoe begin a “long, sleepless night.”
I won’t tell you what happens, but this sweet story about siblings has just the right amount of suspense, and it is ultimately reassuring. Frazee’s ink and pencil illustrations are really lovely and expressive. Boot and Shoe’s emotions are clear and almost painfully familiar as they worry about one another.
This is not Marla Frazee’s first book: she is an esteemed illustrator, and has won two Caldecott Honors. Of the books she has written and illustrated, we have A Couple of Boys Have the Best Week Ever, and Walk On! : A Guide for Babies of all Ages. She has also illustrated numerous other books in our collection. Boot & Shoe is the kind of book that can be read again and again. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did!