Renee Mihulka – Children's Book Reviews & Writer

Ruby Red Shoes

ruby-red-shoesBeautifully illustrated, whimsical, different

OVERALL: 3.5 4 Stars

Concept:3 Stars
Characters:4 Stars
Plot:1 Stars
Writing:3 Stars
Illustrations:5 Stars
Kate Knapp
Kate Knapp
2012
Harper Collins
44

Description: Ruby Red shoes is a sweet, whimsical book about a white hare named Ruby who always wears red shoes and lives with her Babushka Galushka (Gran) in a gyspy style caravan. It is beautifully illustrated and reminds you of what it is like to be a child where time seems endless and little things take on great significance.

Concept: The concept behind this book is to create emotion and focus on the simple things in life and to do this mainly through illustration. The writing is used to highlight the pictures and not the other way around.

Characters: There are only really two characters, Ruby and Babushka Galushka. Babushka is kind, ‘soft and cuddly, and smells of violets.’ A comforting and solid presence in Ruby’s life. Ruby a happy little girl, er, hare. This book isn’t really about the characters although young girls will see themselves in Ruby.

Plot: What plot? This book does not have a plot. It ambles along through scenes. There is no story, rather random descriptions of Ruby’s days and lives.

Writing: There are some very nice descriptions and cute bits of writing. “To keep them (the chickens) fabulously fit, Ruby teaches the ladies to play soccer – with a passionfruit. They cheat dreadfully!” Lot of adjectives. Again the writing is not mainly what this book is about.

PARENTS: This is a different kind of book. It ambles along and creates pictures and emotions. It is a nice book to cuddle up with your little one and talk about the pictures and Ruby’s day and compare to their own day.

Things to ask and discuss:

1) This book is bulging with adjectives: ‘Blushing peaches’, ‘delicate bird’ eggs’, ‘jazzy group of chickens’ etc Talk about what a blushing peach might look like or what makes a chicken jazzy.

2) Because this book doesn’t really have a plot, you can read bits of it, start in the middle, spend a lot of time on just one picture. Move at your child’s pace. Count the chickens on the page, the bees.

3)  Get your child to remember the things Ruby did. For example: Ruby spent time in her garden and played with her chickens what else did she do?

4) You can use this book to talk about your child’s own day. Ruby did these things, what did you do?

GET THE BOOK! 

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Book Reviews and Writer