The Shoe On The Side of the Road

And Other Missing Things

Children - Grade K-3rd
32 Pages
Reviewed on 05/14/2019
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    Book Review

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.

Alyssa Elmore

Have you ever wondered how socks, shoes, and mittens seem to mysteriously go from pairs to singles? The Shoe on The Side of The Road: And Other Missing Things by Joanne Russo Insull explores the story behind socks, shoes, and mittens’ disappearances in delightful verse. How many times have you seen a single shoe abandoned on the side of the road and wondered how it got there? What led up to the moment of its resting sadly on the roadside without its owner? Where is its owner anyhow? A little boy ponders the shoe’s life, searching for answers of the absence of its mate, leading to more questions, such as where has the mate to my other sock gone? And can you help me find my missing mitten?

Discover the other side of the story in the adorably illustrated children’s book, The Shoe on The Side of The Road: And Other Missing Things by Joanne Russo Insull. Though we all have wondered about abandoned shoes and missing socks, how many of us know what really happens to their mates? This story takes us on a hunt that makes us wonder, are all things related? I enjoyed this little book and loved the watercolor painted illustrations. The art is beautifully done and the story is fun to speculate along with. The author brought the story to life with flowing verse and interesting questions, perfect for stimulating a young child's imagination while leading them on an interesting journey of missing pairs. Maybe, just maybe the reader will solve the mystery of the pairs through speculation. I would recommend this book for children ages 2-4.

Deborah Lloyd

This is a delightful young children’s book where a little boy muses about how items become lost. One day, during a bike ride (with training wheels), the boy notices a red sneaker on the side of the road. His first thought is perhaps a bully took the shoe and tossed it on the side of the road. Then he considered how other people – a jogger, chef, or ballerina – may have lost it and how it affects their lives. His daydreaming moved to consideration of items he has lost – a sock in the dryer, a mitten in the snow. The Shoe on the Side of the Road and Other Missing Things, written by Joanne Russo Insull and illustrated by Lara Russo, is an imaginative, thought-provoking children’s book.

This book illustrates how young (and perhaps not so young) minds can wander and contemplate how things go missing in our lives. Beginning with a lone shoe on the side of the road, the boy’s mind wanders from this sighting to items he has lost. Embedded in his daydreaming thoughts are modern-day experiences – bullying and recycling. This book presents wonderful opportunities for parents to discuss these topics with a young child. The illustrations are simply lovely and will easily enhance a child’s imagination. Author Joanne Russo Insull has written an engaging story for young children, and Lara Russo has added charming illustrations in The Shoe on the Side of the Road and Other Missing Things. This book will captivate the imagination of young children over and over again.