New Shoes (Hardcover)

By Sara Varon

First Second, 9781596439207, 208pp.

Publication Date: March 20, 2018

List Price: 17.99*
* Individual store prices may vary.


From Sara Varon (Robot Dreams, Bake Sale) comes New Shoes, a heartwarming graphic novel about a donkey on a quest to make the perfect pair of shoes.

Francis the donkey is the best shoemaker in the village. He uses only the finest materials: coconut wood for the soles, goat’s wool for the insoles, and wild tiger grass for the uppers.

One day he receives a special order from his favorite singer: Miss Manatee, the queen of calypso. But he’s all out of tiger grass! To make the perfect pair of shoes, Francis must journey deep into the jungle . . . and that means leaving his village for the first time.

In New Shoes, Sara Varon takes us on a vivid journey into the jungles of South America. From the capybara to the jaguar to the three-toed sloth, Francis meets a variety of animals outside his neighborhood. They’re not so scary when you get to know them!

About the Author

Sara Varon is a printmaker, graphic novelist, and children's book author/illustrator living in Brooklyn. Her books include Odd Duck, Bake Sale, Robot Dreams, Chicken & Cat, Chicken & Cat Clean Up, Hold Hands, and My Pencil & Me. Her books have received many accolades--among others, Odd Duck was selected by Kirkus Reviews as one of the Best Children's Books of 2013, Bake Sale was named a YALSA Great Graphic Novel for 2012, and Robot Dreams was on Oprah's Kids' Reading List in 2008. In 2013 Sara Varon was a recipient of the Maurice Sendak Fellowship.

Praise For New Shoes

"The reader is asked to confront surprisingly sophisticated topics, and the result is a book as charming as it is unexpected."—New York Times

"Varon (Odd Duck) introduces a rain forest setting most likely new to readers (Guyana, an afterword explains) in a story that brims with creativity and affection."—Publishers Weekly, starred review

"The dialogue effortlessly adds humor to the informational snippets in the text; a moment when a jaguar, wild hog, and howler monkey chuckle over their entries in Francis' guidebook is hilarious. A quick, informative, and overall good-hearted graphic tale that will have readers pausing to take in the colorful artistic details."—Kirkus

"This simple yet fun tale will help newly independent readers make the transition to full-blown graphic novels, stoke curiosity about the jungle ecosystem, and teach about teamwork, respect, and kindness."—School Library Journal

"Readers of Robot Dreams (BCCB 11/07) or Chicken & Cat (BCCB 3/06) will settle right in to the chipper domesticated menagerie that comprises Varon’s graphic novel casts."—The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books

This silly and entertaining early-reader graphic novel, in six chapters, is filled with informational matter about the animals of the South American jungles…Expect giggles from the newly independent readers at whom this delightfully odd graphic novel is aimed." —Horn Book