The Lovely Shoes

Can the right pair of shoes make *anyone* feel beautiful? Franny is constantly embarrassed by two things in her life. One is her right foot, which curls in from a birth defect, so she has to wear ugly, heavy orthopedic shoes. And the other is her mother Margaret: beautiful, extravagant, flamboyant — *mortifying*, in their small Ohio town. Franny’s first school dance is a disaster, so Margaret announces her latest crazy plan: They will travel to Italy to meet Salvatore Ferragamo, who will sculpt a pair of slippers especially for Franny. The idea is outrageous. The trip is expensive. And the experience changes Franny’s life forever.

See the review at WOW Review Volume 5, Issue 4

Bitter Dumplings

A tasty, original storyThis striking picture book ends with a new beginning for three people who never expected to be friends – an orphaned girl cast out by her siblings, a slave escaping from a mighty emperor’s ship, and a hunchbacked old woman known for the bitter-melon and shrimp dumplings she brings to market each day – and for living in a haunted house at the edge of the marshes. As their hardship-filled paths cross, each of their lives begins to change for the better, in a moving affirmation of the power of compassion.Set long ago in a Chinese village by the sea, Jeanne M. Lee’s meticulously illustrated story has an extraordinary flavor all its own.