Book Talk: A Pair of Red Clogs

A Pair of Red Clogs

A Pair of Red Clogs by Masako Matsuno

Published by Purple House Press on November 15, 2002, originally published in 1960

Ages 3+

A pair of old cracked wooden clogs! I found them last night in a storeroom of my house when I was looking for a box to send a new pair of clogs to my little granddaughter.

Mako who is now grown, remembers back to the day she got beautiful new red lacquered clogs. Mako is so proud of her red clogs, but while playing the weather telling game with friends one of her red clogs gets cracked. Mako knows her family cannot afford a new pair of clogs for a while, so she decides to do something dishonest.

This book is a great story about honesty. A Pair of Red Clogs explores a child’s reasoning when lying to a parent as well as a mother’s keen sense. The lesson almost plainly states “don’t try to pull a fast one over on Mom, ‘cause Mom knows all.” The illustrations are beyond beautiful and the story also invites little ones to try their hand at the weather playing game.

This picture book was personally one of my favorites as a child, and since it’s republication I have shared it with many children who also find the story fascinating.

The bonus factoid is that the author was also a librarian.

Play the weather telling game yourself – kick your shoes off your foot and see how it lands to tell what the weather will be like.

Review by Heaether Ventucci-Johnson, Ida Public Library (Belvidere, IL)

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