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Reviewed by Barbara Fanson for Readers' Favorite
Footprints is a book with an excellent storyline, which offers a wonderful outlook on life. Author Melinda Taliancich Falgoust has a winning concept about a young girl, Aiko, who wants to leave a mark — or footprint — without staining planet Earth. Aiko feels small in a land with tall skyscrapers that seem to touch the sky. Aiko wants to be noticed but doesn’t want to ruin the planet. Aiko walks with her grandfather and gently reminds people of the damage we are doing by driving, cutting down trees, and using dryers to dry clothes, rather than hanging them on a clothesline. Footprints offers subtle reminders of how we should be more aware of our world and how everything we do impacts the world. Aiko is an intelligent, but compassionate child with the common sense of an adult. I think Aiko’s grandfather says it best: “Sometimes the biggest footprints we can make are those we cannot see at all.”
Author Melinda Taliancich Falgoust throws in a few Japanese words so the reader gets the impression that the story takes place in Japan, but she does explain their meaning so the reader isn’t lost. The illustrations include a temple, cherry blossom trees, and a bridge, which look Japanese. The pencil drawings and digital backgrounds help the reader to travel with Aiko and her grandfather through the countryside. We should all read Footprints and try to leave as few footprints as possible for the next generation. If you liked The Lorax by Dr. Seuss, then you will like Footprints.