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Reviewed by Jack Magnus for Readers' Favorite
The Shoe On The Side of the Road: And Other Missing Things is a concept storybook for children, grades k-3, written by Joanne Russo Insull and illustrated by Lara Russo. An afternoon’s bike ride can be a lot of fun; there are always plenty of sights to see and things to explore. But sometimes certain things catch our attention and our imagination -- like a single lost shoe lying by the side of the road. What happened to the other shoe? How did this one get there? What about the person who used to have two shoes and now only has one? Did a bully grab someone’s shoe and toss it far away? Everyone loses, at some point in their lives, one of a pair. It could a shoe, a sock or a mitten. The rest of the world may just see that odd shoe or sock or mitten as nothing to think about, but to someone that missing item may have value and memories attached to it.
Joanne Russo Insull’s whimsical and charming book shows kids how to see things in a different light, to use their imaginations to fill in the missing blanks, as indeed does the young boy on the bicycle. She further gets kids involved in the story by bringing up the infamous missing sock, a phenomenon that even the young are far too familiar with. Where do those socks go anyway? Lara Russo’s brilliant illustrations work so well with the story. Her use of lines and color invite the reader to fill in the blanks and enrich the scene just as Insull’s story does. This tale is an excellent selection for storytime and will serve as a grand conversation springboard for kids to share their own stories about lost things. The Shoe On The Side of the Road: And Other Missing Things is highly recommended.