My thoughts: This interesting picture book takes the young reader into the stark reality of the British Industrial Revolution when a family of shoe cobblers moves from the village into the city of Manchester where machines, crowded streets, and more crowded tenement housing makes life for them and those around them barely sustainable.
The illustrations are "abstract-ish" and bold using browns, grays, blacks, and russet to take the reader into this new era. The story is sweet and teaches a lesson in sacrifice for those we love. Charlie is so happy and proud to wear the shoes his grandfather made for him. And in his new life the very fact that he wears such wonderful shoes causes folks to tag him with the name,"Leather Shoe Charlie." Even in the bleakness that was Industrial Manchester when labor laws were unheard of and hours for adults and children alike were long, hard, and sometimes dangerous, a ray of light shines in the sweetness of Charlie.
The book actually ends with two pages of facts about the Industrial Age, a new Global Economy, and a Timeline. These facts would be nice for classroom use and for homeschool units.
This Trade Winds Series promises to be quite good. I look forward to my next review in the series, Father's Road (a story of the Silk Road).
About the book: An appealing and educational story about the Industrial Revolution
Charlie's most prized possession is the pair of shoes his grandfather made for him. The shoes bring him comfort as he and his family leave their small village and move to Manchester. But the pollution from the city's many factories soon takes its toll on Charlie's mother. Unfortunately, the medicine she needs is too expensive, unless Charlie can make an exceptional sacrifice.
This fascinating Trade Winds book presents readers with an engrossing story while also teaching them about Britain's Industrial Revolution.
DISCLOSURE: I was provided a complimentary copy by Eerdman's to facilitate a review. Opinions expressed are my own and I was not compensated