Boot and Shoe

By . cassette or CD. 15 min. Recorded Books. 2013. cassette: ISBN 978-1-4703-5294-3, CD: ISBN 978-1-4703-5290-5. $15.75; hardcover book: ISBN 978-1-4424-2247-6: $16.99.
PreS—Gr 2—Puppy brothers Boot and Shoe live a quite life that suits them—Shoe on the front porch and Boot on the back porch. They eat and sleep together and pee together on the same little tree. One day a pesky squirrel happens by and begins to chatter, throw stuff, and just gets in their face. A wild chase ensues and, lo and behold, Boot ends up on the front porch and Shoe is on the back porch, each awaiting their sibling to appear. They spend a separate, sleepless night with no appetite for a lonely dinner. Finally at dawn, they both must pee and, happily, they meet at their favorite tree. After a gleeful reunion, they fall fast asleep—together. Frazee's warm and funny story (Beach Lane Bks., 2012) about sibling friendship is enhanced by her signature pencil-and-gouache illustrations and hand-lettered text. Johnny Heller's perfectly paced narration adds emphasis at just the right times, but the telling would have been even better with the addition of sound effects for the squirrel's chatter, wild chase, etc. Still, this is a fun choice for elementary schools.—Jane Newschwander, Fluvanna County Public Schools, VA
Boot and Shoe are two dogs with a lot in common. They started out as littermates, and were adopted into the same household. They eat out of the same dish, sleep in the same bed, and pee on the same tree. They even look alike, except for the distinctive markings in their paws. Their only real difference is that Boot spends his days on the back porch (he’s a "back porch kind of dog") and Shoe passes time in the front. After a pesky squirrel gets both dogs riled up enough to give chase, they each end up on the wrong porch -- then decide to sit down and wait for the other. After passing a long, miserable, rainy night alone and out of place, the two finally meet up again at their favorite tree: "even in the worst of times, a dog still needs to pee." The sprightly lines of Frazee’s black-pencil and gouache illustrations add to the humor of this nimble tale of misplaced assumptions, which is reminiscent of the physical comedy of a Buster Keaton movie and just as entertaining. kathleen t. horning

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