Class, today our lesson is about shoes. If you have ever taken a child to a church basement to try on clothes, you will know firsthand how much energy is required of them to pretend they got what they wanted. Kids are grateful for something to wear, but in our image-conscious society they are also keenly aware of how they look to others. What they really want is enough money to buy their own clothes. Maribeth Boelts introduces young readers to this complex issue with kindness and finesse in Those Shoes (Candlewick, $15.99). Jeremy wants a pair of the latest high-falutin’ footwear. It doesn’t matter what kind they are—flavor of the day. He wants them bad, but Grandma reminds him that winter is coming and he needs new boots. When his own shoes wear out, he has to take a pair from the box at school. Egad! They have Velcro. Everyone makes fun of Jeremy’s shoes but Antonio. Antonio’s a quiet sort, who, Jeremy notices, also doesn’t have the hottest foot apparel around either. Like any poor child, Jeremy has resilience and creativity on his side, but his methods fail to produce the desired result. Still, Jeremy ends up feeling better about himself by being kind to someone else. Boelts’s lovely turn-of-events story is a great way to reinforce the good feelings that come from charitable work. With World Kindness Week right around the corner (November 12-18), use Those Shoes as a way to generate ideas to celebrate spreading kindness in your school and your community.