Oy Vey! Life in a Shoe

Bon­nie Grub­man; Dave Mot­tram, illus.
  • Review
By – March 24, 2017

This nurs­ery rhyme / folk­tale mashup is laugh out loud fun­ny. Mrs. Green­baum lived in a shoe / with her thir­teen kids and her hus­band Lou.” Twelve boys and a baby cre­ate a lot of com­mo­tion in this Size 113” shoe house. “…the hus­band kvetched from day to night, Oy vey it’s loud and much too tight.’” Mrs. Green­baum wise­ly sends her hus­band to see the rab­bi next door, whose own house is (appro­pri­ate­ly) com­posed entire­ly of books. The rab­bi advis­es Lou to bring home two chick­ens, set­ting up the remain­der of the sto­ry as a rhyming ver­sion of the folk­tale Too Much Noise. The well-writ­ten text is full of humor and ener­gy, with a sprin­kling of Yid­dish that adds to the fun. Col­or­ful ani­mat­ed illus­tra­tions deft­ly por­tray the grow­ing chaos inside the shoe with a jum­ble of line, shape and col­or. Phys­i­cal and facial expres­sions are broad­ly comedic with char­ac­ters who threat­en to jump off the page. A sil­ly and clever take on an old favorite. 

Rec­om­mend­ed for ages 5 – 8.

Teri Mark­son has been a children’s librar­i­an for over 18 years. She is cur­rent­ly the act­ing senior librar­i­an at the Val­ley Plaza Branch Library in North Hol­ly­wood, CA.

Discussion Questions