Parents' Choice Foundation: Reviewing Children's Media Since 1978

Parents' Choice Awards : Books : Picture Books
I Feel a Foot!

I Feel a Foot!

Fall 2008 Picture Books
Ages: 4 - 8 yrs.
Author: Maranke Rinck
Author: Martijn van der Linden
ISBN: 978-1-59078-638-3
Hardcover Price: $16.95
Readers have only to compare the tiny foot of the tortoise juxtaposed beside the gigantic toenail of an elephant on the cover of this visually striking book to understand that this story will be a study in both contrasts and commonalities. Based on a folktale known to most children as "The Blind Man and the Elephant," this version uses a bat, an octopus, a bird, and a goat as the other actors in the old drama where each animal explores the huge creature only to return with the belief that it is merely a much larger version of itself. The bat discovers the ear and decides it is a wing; the octopus visits the trunk and declares it a tentacle, and so on. Van der Linden's brightly-hued fabric-collage animals set off by stark black backgrounds are not only beautiful but help, as well, to focus attention on the story's dynamic as each animal explores and discovers exactly what it is pre-disposed to believe. In a classroom setting, this title could be used to generate discussion on how we use our senses to perceive the world, read in conjunction with Ed Young's Seven Blind Mice to compare culturally diverse versions of similar stories, or used as a brilliant impetus for creative art projects. An all-fabric version for visually impaired children is forecast by the publisher.
Kristi Elle Jemtegaard   ©2008 Parents' Choice
Kristi Elle Jemtegaard is the Coordinator of Youth Services for the Arlington Public Library system. She has taught courses on children’s and young adult literature at the Catholic University of America and the University of Virginia. She has served on both the Newbery and Caldecott Award Committees of the American Library Association and has chaired the Notable Children’s Recordings Committee and the May Hill Arbuthnot Award Committee. She is a member and past president of the Children’s Book Guild of Washington DC and has chaired the Washington Post–Book Guild Nonfiction Award Committee. She is a founding member of Capitol Choices, an organization of professionals in the field of children’s literature in the greater Washington DC area. She regularly reviews children’s literature and audio productions for a variety of national publications.

Share This