When’s the last time you learned a new skill? Adults typically know how to complete the actions of everyday lives. When they do choose to learn a new hobby, it’s often for the sake of trying something new – whether it’s taking Spanish lessons or learning a new instrument, they’ve signed up with the intention of enjoying a new activity.
For kids, however, things aren’t that simple. There’s so much of the world that we have yet to experience and so much preparation to do before we’re ready for new adventures. With so much to learn, facing yet another challenging new task can be daunting. The art of tying shoelaces is just one of these tasks, and one that children often have trouble with. But if you’re struggling to learn to tie your shoes, have no fear. Author Sybrina Durant has set out to teach shoe-tying in her new book “Boo’s Shoes – A Rabbit and Fox Story: Learn to Tie Shoelaces.”
The aficionado of countless shoes, Boo the rabbit is thrilled with his collection. He has cowboy boots, rollerblades and even a pair of light-up sneakers! Best of all, none of these shoes have laces, and that’s just the way he likes it.
So it’s understandable that Boo’s not particularly thrilled when his friend Farah Fox brings over a new pair of laced sneakers. While Farah can see that he’s skeptical, she assures him that once they practice together, Boo will be a pro in no time. She reminds him that learning to tie knots isn’t just for shoelaces: “you can use ropes or strings to rig a sail, fly a kite … make bracelets to share with friends.”
Encouraged by her words, Boo agrees to learn. As the two sit down and take their shoelaces in hand, the book’s illustrations shift to include diagrams of each stage in tying a pair of shoelaces. As Farah guides Boo through each step, these clear visual instructions will help young readers to learn alongside the book’s protagonist. With Farah Fox’s patient teaching, you will soon have the classic “bunny-loop” knot mastered!
When it comes to teaching young children new skills, making it feel like a chore is a recipe for disaster. By spinning the lesson of tying shoelaces into something fun, “Boo’s Shoes” helps young readers look forward to learning new abilities, rather than feeling forced to try something out of their comfort zone. It helps that the story is an enjoyable read: Pumudi Gardiyawasam’s colorful illustrations will catch your eye, while Durant’s lyrical rhymes will make the read-aloud experience fun for both parties.
And speaking of lyrics – even after the end of the story, this book is not done with the fun. The book includes a song called “No Laces,” as well as a celebratory badge that can be used as a reward. Even the adults receive a guide on how to properly teach the lesson, encouraging them to make the experience both formative and fun for kids.