When I was little, I would always check out one of three books if they were on the shelves of the Bookmobile when it stopped on our street: Harold and the Purple Crayon, A Boy, A Dog and A Frog, and New Blue Shoes.
Both of the former have been reissued in new editions, and I've gotten copies of them for my kids (and I still adore them both), but other than maybe checking it out from the library once when M was small, I haven't gotten my hands on a copy of New Blue Shoes.
I don't remember what exactly it was about the book that I loved so much. Maybe the pen and ink drawings of the long-haired mother and daughter reminded me of my mom and me, or maybe it was just the simple rhyming: New! Blue! Shoes! I remember an image from the book of the mother with her head bowed down in exasperation, shoeboxes piled all around, as the little girl tried on pair after pair. Maybe I secretly wanted to be more like her.
My sister, the picky one, would be the one with the boxes of shoes piled around her, as both my mom and the shoe salesman bowed their heads in frustration. Always eager to please (up to a point), I, on the other hand, submitted to my mom's choice of ugly brown oxfords from Buster Brown or Thom McCann (Okay, there were some sneakers in there--my "run fast, jump high shoes" and patent leather Mary Janes for Christmas and Easter, but oh, do I remember those brown shoes). But once, there was a pair of blue shoes (sturdy oxfords? or Mary Janes? I don't recall), and maybe that's why I loved that book so.
In any case, when I saw these shoes in a catalog, I knew I had to have them.
I haven't been able to wear them much; my footwear of choice (and necessity) these days is a pair of red rubber rain boots. But as soon as the sun comes back (it will come back, won't it?), I'll be wearing my new blue shoes. And I think I need to order a copy of the book, too.