The little boy. No name, just "the little boy." But oh, does he have personality! The little boy owns several pairs of shoes, but the one he likes best happens to be the only pair he can't put on by himself, his sandal shoes. Boots and sneakers and such can be slipped or pulled onto his tiny feet, but the sandals are more complex. They have buckles his little fingers aren't yet capable of fastening, but he likes them best anyway, even though he requires his grandpa's help when he wants to wear them.

Today, though, the little boy's sandal shoes are lost, and that's the only pair he wants on his feet when he goes for a walk with his grandpa. So follow the grandpa and the little boy, dear reader, around the house in search of the missing sandal shoes, and watch as a regular fictional narrative expands into a counting book, and an "I Spy" book, as the two searchers comb through the house trying to locate the little boy's prized sandal shoes. They're sure to turn up eventually, maybe when the little boy stops looking so hard for them. Those sandals may be a lot closer than he expects...

Hello, Shoes! is a nice story and versatile book overall, holding appeal for those interested in multiple kinds of story. Ann Boyajian's illustrations just as important to the book as Newbery Medalist Joan W. Blos's writing, in my opinion, giving the story an unmistakably old-fashioned appearance. Hello, Shoes! looks as if it could have come right out of the 1940s or '50s, but fits just as well thematically with other picture books of the late '90s. Some book ideas are timeless, and some authors and illustrators, like Joan W. Blos and Ann Boyajian, are, too. I would probably give Hello, Shoes! one and a half stars, and I recommend this tale of a grandpa and his grandson having a mini adventure on a typical day to anyone looking for a nice book to read with a toddler.