An aspiring artist discovers the beauty of everyday life. Since Roberto hopes to be a renowned artist one day, he only paints bright and vibrant scenes. He refuses to paint images of the poor children playing or old Stefano and his donkey. One day, a cobbler lends Roberto a pair of sandals and whispers that they may allow him to see the world in a new light. As he wears the sandals, Roberto soon begins to value his surroundings and the virtues of other people.
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While wearing another's shoes, Roberto saw the world in a new light of gratitude and giving. A wonderful way to help children understand Roberto's vision is to raise funds together for the charitable organization Soles4Souls. Schools and Organizations and Faith-based Organizations all over the country are putting shoes on the feet of those in need all over the world.
I, myself, am a donor. Learn more about Soles4Souls:
Hardcover Picture Book ages 5 to 10, 2012 978-1589809109
"Sometimes a truly wonderful book comes along that we share with our children so that they may learn, understand and develop compassion for the human condition. Occasionally we share a heartfelt book to touch on the inner beauty of not only our children, but also others.
Kathleen T. Pelley's new book The Sandal Artist is one of those special books that belong in our children's hands... Kathleen Pelley's words heal hearts as they bring a gentle kindness to the world within her pages.
Paired with Lois Rosio Sprague's deep rich painterly illustrations, The Sandal Artist is a charming tale about looking for the inner beauty, and grandeur that resides in us all; A profound gift for those special children in your life."
—Rhonda Cratty, The Examiner (read the full review)
"This well-crafted tale goes back to what a children's picture storybook should be; an entertaining story, with wonderful illustrations, a down to earth theme, and a happy ending."
—Kaye Lynne Booth, The Examiner (read the full review)
"Ostensibly a children's book, The Sandal Artist has the depth and wisdom to win over even the crabbiest of adults, which, of course, the best children's books do...Readers of any age will be drawn to the bold, lively illustrations by Lois Sprague and swept along by Pelley's crisp, unfussy prose. In choice, spare words, she creates a fully-realized character in Roberto."
—Jean Torkelson, Denver Catholic Register (read the full review)
"Pelley's brief text is reminiscent of a Sunday homily; indeed, the magic sandals' original owner is rumored to have been a fisherman, a carpenter, and a storyteller. Sprague's rich acrylics-over-black paintings suggest a Renaissance setting, and listeners will be drawn to the characters' expressive faces."
—Booklist (read the full review)
"The bold, sweeping, stylized artwork distinguishes this dramatic story of learning to see everyday people in a new way. Highly recommended."
—Midwest Book Review (read the full review)
"Research tells us that children who read fiction have higher levels of empathy and we know that empathy elevates when people witness or experience it. Watching Roberto's life transform will be a powerful experience for young and old alike who take a walk in those sandals with him."
—Barbara Gruener, The Corner on Character Blog (read the full review)
"...a heart-warming book with a good Christian message...The story is gentle and simple, but conveys its message well. The illustrations by Lois Rosio Sprague are full of rich colors and truly feel like paintings themselves, with brush strokes and colors layered on top of each other. It really is a lovely book."
—Carol's Notebook Blog (read the full review)
"...the story had a good moral to it. It made me think about how I have been acting and if I was viewing the world in the right way. I thought the illustrations in the book were breath-taking."
—Living Better One Day at a Time Blog
"It's a simple story—not too 'Christian' but definitely one that has a positive moral message...it would open a conversation about how you value life and the people and things around you...Beautiful images, thought provoking words and a nice addition to my children's picture book collection."
—My Scrappy Life Blog (read the full review)
"... a sweet story with a great message...This would be a great edition to a family library or to use in a church or school classroom."
—A Life Worth Living Blog (read the full review)
"Beautifully written and illustrated, The Sandal Artist shares the message that beauty and grace exists in everything and everyone around us. Although it is a picture book, it may be more suited for older children as My 8-year-old smiled sweetly the first time Roberto noticed something from a different perspective."