Youth Services

Ms. Kate’s Graphic Novel Pick of the Month

New Shoes by Sara Varon – Juv GN Varon

“New Shoes” by Sara Varon is a graphic novel set in South America. The main character, Francis the Donkey, is a local shoemaker who uses products from the area to make his amazing shoes. One day he gets an order from the famous calypso singer, Miss Manatee. He is so excited to make her shoes, but he has run out of tiger grass from the jungle. Nigel, a monkey, brings him a new batch of tiger grass every week, but he has gone missing! Now Francis, who has never left his village before, must travel into the jungle to collect the grass. Along the way he meets a lot of awesome friends and learns about the plants and animals there.

I enjoyed that Francis brings his own guidebook to learn about the forest, so he learns about different animals that live there. His new friends also teach him about different plants and fruits that he can eat. Did you know that there is a fruit called the “Stinking Toe Fruit?” Sara Varon also labels the animals that he passes by along the way, just in case you want to look up info about them later.

At the end of the book, the author and illustrator includes several reference photos that she took while visiting Guyana and then tells you what each one inspired in the story. The book seems heavy and long, but it is a fun and quick read with lots of funny and bright illustrations. Check out Sara Varon’s “New Shoes” from us today!