A Flock Of Shoes

  • Best Bets List for Children, OLA
  • Best Books for Kids & Teens 2011, starred selection, Canadian Children’s Book Centre
  • Book of the Year Award finalist, ForeWord Reviews
  • Blue Spruce Nominee

Abby loves her pink and brown sandals with the lime green trim, and she wears them wherever she goes. But as summer draws to a close, Abby’s mom announces that it’s time for the sandals to go. Abby is determined to keep them on — until one day, while swinging at the park, her sandals flip off and fly away.

All winter long, Abby wonders what her sandals are up to. Postcards of sandy white beaches and glorious sunsets reassure her that they are having a wonderful time in far away places.

Come February, Abby realizes that she has also grown to love her cozy, comfy boots. As the warm weather comes, she watches sadly as they march off, but a swish in the sky announces the return of her pink and brown sandals — all ready for another summer of fun.

Full of whimsy, this circular tale is enhanced by rich, evocative language and delicate pastel illustrations that are sure to delight any young child.

A Flock of Shoes is available at fine retailers everywhere: Chapters, Amazon, and of course, independent book stores. It has been translated into both Korean and French and is available world-wide. Take a look at what book reviewers have to say:

Words By Mom:”Your kids however, will enjoy this story not for its message, but for the absolute silliness and spunk that this story holds. It’s fun to sometimes read a story just for a laugh, and this book is a good candidate for that! The art is wonderful. Sweet, busy but not overpowering, and the text is amazingly and beautifully poetic.”

“Sarah Tsiang does a wonderful job depicting just how connected a child can be with a piece of clothing and Quin Leng’s watercolour illustrations compliment the warmth of the story. The story of summer shoes needing to go away somewhere warm is a delightful way to look at seasonal items.”

“Sarah Tsiang’s text … is descriptive and punchy, and it perfectly complements the fun watercolour illustrations by … Qin Leng.”
—Quill & Quire, starred review, 07/10

“This glorious and whimsical book … would be a lovely gift for all the little “Abbys” in your life and of course all their mothers (and fathers too!).”
—Word of Mouse Book Reviews, 07/10

“This is possibly the first picture book on shoe migration, an idea that imaginative children will find nearly believable and wholly satisfying.”
—Booklist, 10/10

“The art is wonderful … and the text is amazingly and beautifully poetic.”
—wordsbymom.com, 13/10/10

“We all found this story … adorable. [It] is an endearing read for any child 2-6.”
—girlsgonereading.net, 14/10/10

“Sarah Tsiang does a wonderful job depicting just how connected a child can be with a piece of clothing and Quin Leng’s watercolour illustrations compliment the warmth of the story. The story of summer shoes needing to go away somewhere warm is a delightful way to look at seasonal items.”
—wordpress.com, 11/03/10

“… Tsiang’s simple yet evocative language will engage young listeners … Leng’s depiction of Abby’s world … is magical.”
—CM Magazine, 11/10

“Both the words and story are pure magic.”-
—edwardsmagazinebookclub.com, 11/14/10

“Tsiang’s text is a delight to read, with a gentle poetic rhythm. Highly recommended.”
—Resource Links, 12/10

“This amusing tale that finally explains where shoes go in the off season is great fun.”
—School Library Journal, 03/11

“This whimsical story filled with charming watercolors will warm the hearts of small children while teaching them a valuable lesson.”
—ForeWord Reviews, 2/11

“This imaginative, circular story is not only fun and easily relatable for children between ages two and seven, but a pleasure for parents as well.”
—Québec Library Association, 03/11

“This is a fun and engaging story, touched with humour and a lot of magic.”
—Canadian Children’s Book News, Spring 2011

“The writing … is spare, lyrical and delightfully funny, and is a perfect match for the whimsical and warm watercolour illustrations.”
—canadianbookshelf.com, 12/10/11

“… (a) great Canadian not-to-be-missed children’s book …”
—canadianbookshelf.com, 1/26/12

“The writing in A FLOCK OF SHOES is spare, lyrical and delightfully funny, and is a perfect match for the whimsical and warm watercolour illustrations.”
—canadianbookshelf.com, 02/01/12

From Kirkus Reviews:

An imaginative look at just what happens to all those outgrown and worn-out but still beloved shoes. For Abby, those adored shoes are her sandals, perfect for everything. Abby wears them all summer long, delighted by the heart-shaped tracks they make in the sand. In the fall, none of her mother’s arguments persuade her to part with them. But then, while she is swinging high, they fly off her feet. Instead of falling, they fly away, joining others in a V formation and heading south. A heartbroken Abby reads the postcards they send from a sunny beach and reluctantly wears the boots her mother buys. It’s February before they are her new favorite shoes. But in the spring, they join a long line of other boots on a northbound train. Forlorn, Abby sits barefoot, until she hears flapping…. Tsiang’s flight of fancy is delightfully captured in Leng’s illustrations. While small, they are rich in detail and movement. Abby’s personality truly shines in her body language. This whimsical tale is sure to beguile anyone who has ever outgrown a much-loved pair of shoes. (Picture book. 4-8)

Check out the Book Trailer if you’d like a peek inside the book.

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