King Louie's Shoes

Roll out the red carpet for author D.J. Steinberg (Grasshopper Pie and Other Poems) and illustrator Robert Neubecker (Linus the Vegetarian T. rex), whose imperial collaboration tells the delightfully informative and visually stunning story of King Louis XIV's shoe folly.

This nonfiction picture book introduces young readers to the king who was big in every way except height. He gave big parties, grew a big army and gave big gifts. But as Steinberg succinctly explains, "King Louie (which is how you say 'Louis' in French) was a shrimp." After failing several attempts to appear taller--a high throne, a full wig--he calls on his royal cobbler to craft a pair of high-heeled shoes.

Louie's shoes are a hit, igniting a fashion trend. But when Louie's preposterous heels make him take a tumble on the dance floor, he realizes height is not the quality that makes a king great. "Off came the shoes./ Up came the king... dancing holes in his stocking feet!"

Using different font colors and sizes, Steinberg's clever words draw as much attention as Neubecker's vibrantly alluring illustrations. Caricature drawings of the exaggerated wig and heels, a revealing carpenter and Louie's tantrum add lighthearted humor to this true tale. Meanwhile, the fashion of the period is creatively communicated through the women's hooped skirts, men's breeches and plenty of rich color. King Louie's Shoes is a lively way to sneak in culture and knowledge with young readers while enjoying a splendid story time celebration of footwear. --Jen Forbus, freelancer

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