________________ CM . . . . Volume IV Number 7 . . . . November 28, 1997

cover If You Could Wear My Sneakers!

Sheree Fitch. Illustrated by Darcia Labrosse.
Toronto, ON: Doubleday Canada, 1997.
32 pp., hardcover, $16.95.
ISBN 0-385-25597 -7.

Grades 3 - 6 / Ages 8 - 11.
Review by Leslie Millar.

*** /4

image excerpt:

The Stinky Truth

"What do you think?
Do you think that I stink?"
Said the skunk
"Do you think that I smell?"
"Well, I think that you stink
But I think for a skunk
That you smell
Sheree Fitch's poem, "The Stinky Truth," presents her interpretation of Article 13 from the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, i.e., "Children have the right to obtain and share information, and to express their opinions." There are 15 other poems in If you Could Wear My Sneakers!, all based on Articles from the Convention. image

      Sheree Fitch is already well-known for her children's nonsense poetry, such as Sleeping Dragons All Around, Toes in My Nose, There Were Monkeys in My Kitchen! and Mabel Murple. She adds to her reputation with this lovely book in which the poetic contents range in tone from nonsensical to poignant while always remaining fun.

      The point of this book - trying to match up rights with poems - could provide for thought-provoking classroom discussions, but the match-making often proves elusive. For example, the wonderful title poem I took to be a discourse on how we need to walk in each other's shoes in order to see the commonality of our human condition. Luckily for me, an answer key is included. The poem turns out to be based on Article 2 of the Convention: "All rights apply to all children without exception." Perhaps the reasoning behind the Article is that all children are human, and the poem is about realizing how we're all the same ... Hmmmm? Nonetheless, her book provides opportunities for young students to defend a point of view, the crux of any good English essay.

      The poems display Fitch's wonderful sense of rhythm and cadence, and the book reads aloud wonderfully and is fun to listen to. Each poem, while offering something different, illustrates how language can be bent to suit a writer's purpose.

      Award-winning illustrator Darcia Labrosse has created generous, full-page watercolours that work around the text. The illustrations, themselves, are fanciful and entertaining, depicting exotic, kindly looking creatures from around the world who look ready to have a bit of fun.


Leslie Millar is a mother and substitute teacher in Winnipeg, MB.

To comment on this title or this review, send mail to cm@umanitoba.ca.

Copyright © 1997 the Manitoba Library Association. Reproduction for personal use is permitted only if this copyright notice is maintained. Any other reproduction is prohibited without permission.

Published by
The Manitoba Library Association
ISSN 1201-9364