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Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Book Review: Four Feet, Two Sandals


Authors: Karen Lynn Williams and Khadra Mohammed
Illustrated by Doug Chayka
Book Website: www.karenlynnwilliams.com
Interest Level: Ages 4-9

From the Book Jacket: When relief workers bring used clothing to the refugee camp, everyone scrambles to grab whatever they can. Ten-year-old Lina is thrilled when she finds a sandal that fits her foot perfectly, until she sees that another girl has the matching shoe. But soon Lina and Feroza meet, each wearing one coveted sandal. Together they solve the problem of having four feet and two sandals. 

As the girls go about their routines - washing clothes in the river, waiting in long lines for water, and watching for their names to appear on the list for a new home - the sandals remind them that friendship is what is most important. 

Illustrated with warm colors and sensitive brush strokes, Four Feet, Two Sandals portrays the strength, courage, and hope of refugees around the world, whose daily lives are marked by uncertainty and fear. This story was inspired by a refugee girl who asked the authors why there were no books about children like her. 





Why It's On My Bookshelf: Every child needs to read this touching book. Four Feet, Two Sandals is more than just a story about sharing. It's about real life hardships and circumstances connecting people together. The friendship of two refugee girls will start a powerful discussion.

Refugee.....most students didn't know what the word meant. So we dove on in and I could immediately feel the empathy, understanding, and awareness begin to grow. Isn't it fabulous how when you introduce kids to world issues they just want to know more. Hearts and minds were growing from the knowledge they were gaining. We also have students who come from all sorts of different countries and backgrounds and a few have been refugee families. Our discussion turned to remembering to be mindful (my new favorite word to use w/kiddos) to one another. We talked about how the next time you see something about refugees on the news - to pay attention and not look away. It's sure easy to do.

Four Feet, Two Sandals also unfolds an incredible friendship. They redefined the definition for us in the story. A new standard was set which I loved.  Some of the topics around friendship we discussed: caring, loyalty, strength, and being a forever friend (a new thing I'm teaching). Get this book on your shelf. It's definitely a favorite of mine and the kids.

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