January 25, 2019

Juno Valentine and the Magical Shoes

Written by Eva Chen
Illustrated by Derek Desierto
Feiwel and Friends
32 pp.
Ages 4-6
November 2018

Marilyn Monroe always said "Give a girl the right shoes and she can conquer the world." In Juno Valentine and the Magical Shoes, Juno is given the opportunity to step into the shoes of those conquering women and experience the worlds of those who achieved much in the arts, sciences and society.
From Juno Valentine and the Magical Shoes by Eva Chen, illus. by Derek Desierto
Preparing for school, Juno cannot find her favourite shoes. Delving into her closet to look for her seemingly boring white sneakers that are "her favorite running-hopping-skipping-muddy-puddly-jumping shoes", Juno and her pup are transported by a milky way into a ginormous closet of hundreds of shoes–"... a cornucopia of shoes! A feast of fashion!"–under glass cloches à la Saks Fifth Avenue.
From Juno Valentine and the Magical Shoes by Eva Chen, illus. by Derek Desierto
She becomes Cleopatra when she tries on the Egyptian sandals; Frida Kahlo in the colourful lace-up boots; Cinderella in the glass slippers; Serena Williams in her tennis sneakers; an astronaut in Sally Ride's boots; a ballerina in Misty Copeland's slippers; and more. There are athletes, scientists, and celebrities of TV, art and music. Juno tries them all, putting herself in their shoes and their lives. When she finally discovers her own shoes, she finds a way to put a little magic in them, courtesy of her experiences with those of some great women.
From Juno Valentine and the Magical Shoes by Eva Chen, illus. by Derek Desierto
American Eva Chen brings her fashionista background to inspire children to take a journey through the footwear worn by famous people, past and present, but for me it's Vancouver illustrator Derek Desierto who brings the sparkle to the story with his artwork. Derek Desierto, who is the designer of Derek Cardigan eyewear, brings a mixture of contemporary with retro design to his illustrations, delivering the fun with the footwear (and the clothing and settings) and colour bold enough to bowl over little Juno. The distinction of the women's shoes, summarized in an appendix titled "Juno's Guide to Groundbreaking Women (and their Shoes)," is like a visit to a shoe museum, introducing young readers to important women in history and inspiring them to be great in their own shoes.

1 comment:

  1. As a dedicated lover of shoes, this book is the tops!!