In the warmer months Delly goes to school barefoot. She doesn't mind too much because she likes the feel of dirt on her bare feet. But some of the kids do tease her and with winter coming Delly knows she will need shoes. Even though her family is very poor her father finds a way to buy Delly a pair of much coveted orange shoes. When Delly proudly takes them to school the next day, the other girls treat her with scorn and trample on her shoes. Delly is devastated, but also pragmatic and goes about fixing the situation the only way she knows how.
The Orange Shoes, while not perfect, is one of those rare picture book treasures that just really spoke to me. While not nearly as underprivileged as Delly, I was a child who found self-worth, refuge and solace in art. I forgot for a moment that I was a mom reading a book to a child and felt really caught up in the narrative. I very highly recommend this book to just about everyone. I'd say this is really ideal for a parent sharing with a child as there is so much here to discuss and ponder.