March 15 – National Shoe the World Day

Shoes by Elizabeth Winthrop Illustrated by William Joyce Picture Book Review

About the Holiday

Today’s observance was begun in 2014 by Donald Zsemonadi and the United Indigenous People in Fontana, California to raise awareness of the more than 500 million people around the world who have no shoes to wear. These children, teenagers, and adults must walk barefoot wherever they go, enduring harsh terrain and long distances without relief or protection. Such conditions lead to further problems, which can be lifelong and life-threatening.

Some national and international organizations and companies provide ways you can help by donating new and gently worn shoes or through buy one/give one programs.


Written by Elizabeth Winthrop | Illustrated by William Joyce

Kids love shoes—especially if their squeaky new or completely destroyed. In this classic picture book by Elizabeth Winthrop and William Joyce, an incredible array of feet coverings are introduced in a jaunty, bubbling perfectly rhymed poem that makes the reader look at shoes in a new and appreciative way.

Kids who are often stuck behind tall adults or seemingly sky-high counters will recognize “shoes too low.” And all kids know that wearing “Shoes to skate in, shoes to skip in, shoes to turn a double flip in” or “shoes for fishing, shoes for wishing, rubber shoes for muddy squishing” means the day is going to be awesome.

A fun-to-read rhyme at the end of the book sprints to an unexpected and completely satisfying twist.

Interpreting all of these shoes is William Joyce in his inimitable style. The rakish children ponder tangled laces; tower over friends with stilts; tumble, jump, and turn somersaults; skate, climb, and perform for an audience all while shod in the finest of shoes. Joyce’s adorable children make this a book kids will want to read and/or hear again and again.

Ages 4 – 8

Harper Collins, 1988 | ISBN 978-0064431712

National Shoe the World Day Activity

CPB - Shoe Day Maze

Tangled Laces Shoe Match

Four kids think today’s a perfect day to go swimming, stomping in the mud, roller skating, and climbing trees. But they can’t find the right shoes for their favorite activity! Can you untangle the shoelaces and help each kid have a fantastic day? Print the Tangled Laces Shoe Match puzzle and get started!

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