Logo Title Quebec Reading Connection

A Flock of Shoes

Tsiang, Sarah (Author)
Leng, Qin (Illustrator)
Annick Press 2010. 32 pages
First published: 2010
ISBN: 9781554512485 (paperback)
9781554512492 (hardcover)
Original language: English
Book type: Picture Book

Text Elements:

character, point of view

Award

The Forest of Reading – The Blue Spruce Award Nominee – 2012

Reading Range

 
Cycle
Elementary
Secondary
 
1
2
3
1
2
ELA
K
1
2
3
4
5
6
1
2
3
4
5
ESL
1
2
3
4
5
6
1
2
3
4
5

Description:

The theme of transition is cleverly portrayed in this story about a little girl’s beloved footwear. Abby loves her flip flops, which take her through all the adventures of summer. She is reluctant to let them go—even when autumn’s chill requires she wear them with socks.

The language takes a magical turn when Abby’s sandals abscond for the winter: “flipped and flopped in the sky, pretty as birds, and joined another couple of pairs of sandals, all in a V.”

Delicate sketch-like drawings are absolutely sweet. Dwarfed by a wide landscape of playground and neighbours’ houses, Abby shuffles home in sock feet. Her mother seems to levitate with excitement as she offers Abby a pair of new boots. A winter scene shows Abby making a snow angel, but dreaming about her sandals. Postcards show the sandals sunbathing and sitting by a beach campfire, while Abby slides and stomps through the snow.

Young readers won’t be surprised when Abby begins to appreciate her warm, sturdy boots. But when spring comes, they hop a northbound train. Luckily, her sandals are on their way back: “rested and fat, grown just wide enough for Abby’s feet.”

  •  

    Along with your classmates, place one of your shoes in the middle of a circle. Describe their attributes and invent sorting rules. (Hula hoops are useful for sorting.)

  •  

    List the features of footwear (rubber, Velcro, heeled, etc.) that make them appropriate for different activities and seasons. What types of shoes do you wear?

  •  

    Discuss the title. Why do you think the author chose the word flock? What other word could you use for a group of shoes?

  •  

    Make an anchor chart of the features of postcards. Imagine that your favourite shoes went on vacation. Write yourself a postcard from them.

  •  

    Sort out the activities Abby does with her sandals and those she does with her boots.

  •  

    Write a short illustrated text describing the activities you do with your favourite shoes.

  •  

    Brainstorm a list of shoes and other kinds of footwear. Sort them on a class anchor chart. Think of stories or films involving shoes (e.g. Cinderella, The Wizard of Oz, Puss in Boots).

  •  

    Using a model from the book, write a postcard to your favourite pair of shoes.

  • To exercise critical judgment
  • To use creativity
  • Health and Well-Being
  • Mathematics
  • Physical Education and Health