This post was originally composed by Barbie Robinson on Living Arts Canberra.
For Pity Sake Publishing has purchased the rights to 6 of Bettina Ehrlich’s picture books, first published in the1960s in England. Francesco and Francesca is the first to be released.
It tells the story of Francesco, a poor little Italian boy who has no shoes. One day while gazing in the window of a shoe shop in his home town Mareto he sees a pair of beautiful red shoes, but he also sees the reflection of a lovely little girl – this is Francesca and the two are destined to cross paths at Carnival in Milan.
This is moral tale – but not a moralising one – inviting the reader (or listener) to think about what one wishes for and what it might cost. There are punishments and rewards, acts of courage, skulduggery, fidelity, fragility and strength.
Readers from 7 to 10 years will especially enjoy the story, and the pictures, both black and white and coloured, are detailed enough to engage and encourage conversation.
Check out a conversation about the books between Barbie and For Pity Sake’s Principal Jennifer McDonald below!