Perfect Picture Book Friday – A Pair of Red Clogs

Susanna Leonard Hill has a feature on her blog called Perfect Picture Book Friday. It is a list of “perfect” picture books recommended by all sorts of people. I chose this book because the I liked this story about honesty.

A Pair of Red ClogsA Pair of Red Clogs

By Masako Matsuno

32 pages – ages 3+

Published by Purple House Press on November 15, 2002 (originally published in 1960)


Theme/Topic – Honesty / Multicultural

Opening and Synopsis – 

A pair of old cracked wooden clogs!

I found them last night in a storeroom of my house

when I was looking for a box to send a new pair of clogs

to my little granddaughter.

Mako who is now grown, remembers back to the day she got beautiful new red clogs while shopping with her mother. Mako thought they were the nicest clogs she has ever seen and they sounded so nice when she walked on the stone roads. One day, Mako got a crack in her new clogs while she was playing the weather-telling game with her friends. She knows her mother will not buy her another pair of red clogs for a while, so she decides to do something dishonest. Mako soon feels ashamed that she is trying to fool her mother.

Why I liked this book –  I really enjoyed the story in this book. I think it has a good lesson in it about honesty. I think all kids are dishonest to their parents at sometime when they are growing up and this is a good story to talk about it. I like how Mako’s mother handles being lied to. Besides the nice story, the illustrations are really great. The cover is what made me pick the book up. I also liked learning a little about Japanese culture!


Activities and Resources –

You can play The Weather-Telling Game yourself! First you kick your shoes off your foot up high in the air. Then you see how it lands and that tells what the weather will be like –

At the “Activity Village” website, I found coloring pages and crafts (things like make your own kite and make your own samurai helmet) that teach kids about Japan and Japanese Culture (Click HERE).

At the “Simple Little Home” blog I found a whole weeks worth of lessons for home-schoolers about the book “A Pair of Red Clogs” and Japan (Click HERE).

 Use this cool YouTube video below to learn how to count to 20 in Japanese!


To find more Perfect Picture Books please visit Susanna Hill’s blog HERE

Categories: Age 1-5, Age 6-9

Tags: , , , , , , ,

42 replies

  1. This books sounds a treasure trove of wonder and entertainment. Lessons about honesty and the handling of deception. The games different children play. Multicultural exposure. What a wonderful choice for PPBF.

  2. This book looks terrific, Erik, and I agree about the message being an important one for kids because you’re right – at some point in growing up, kids are likely to try on dishonesty. LOVE the weather telling game 🙂 and the other activities. Thanks for a great post and for adding this book to our list!

  3. What a cool book, Erik. It looks like a wonderful way to explore Japanese customs while learning about the importance of honesty. And I can already see flip-flops flying through the air for the weather game!

  4. As usual, this sound like a great book, Erik. I often use stories and “what ifs” to talk through this stuff with my kids. Adding this to my library list.
    A2Z Mommy and What’s In Between

  5. It seems to be a natural thing for children to embellish — make up stories. That can very easily turn into telling lies; there’s a fine line between using one’s imagination and lying. I think this book would be helpful to sort that out.
    Thanks for this review, Erik.

  6. It’s so cool that you included that you included the shoe-weather game and the video! Great job.

  7. This looks really good & I’m looking forward to finding out what she does that is dishonest. Love the weather game :•)

  8. The title tricked me when I first read it. I didn’t realize that it would be a cultural book. Love your choice and the strong message in the book for kids. Still want to know what she did. Great shoe-weather game. And, the video was fun — but I couldn’t say the numbers past one and two. Ha!

    • I was singing the Japanese number rap all day long after finding it! I will always remember ICHI is one 😉 I really like how Mako’s family deals with her lie also. I think the book has a great message!

  9. This book sounds great, Erik — and what fantastic activities you found! The weather-telling game sounds like fun.

  10. What a cute game. I think I’ll play it in the middle summer when it’s really hot. I’m hoping for snow.

  11. You had me with the title! Looks great! Wish I could cheat at the weather-telling game and make it rain when I want!

  12. This book looks like something I would enjoy. It would be especially helpful to me because we have a little problem in our house with lying. I am going to try to find it at the library. Thank you.

    • I had a “problem” with lying when I was a little younger and I always felt bad about lying to my parents. I think a lot of kids do this (or at least my parents said they do). I like how Mako feels bad about the lie and how her family deals with it. I hope you can find it!

  13. This was a beautiful book. Loved it. I tried the weather game … and it worked. It has just started to rain here….lol.
    Loved the counting video, it reminded me of when we were in Japan many years ago and I loved watching the games shows they had on tv as it is a good way to learn the odd word or phrase in Japanese. … another cultural story.. perfect!

  14. I agree Erik, it is fun to learn about other cultures. This book seems to have alot more to it as well.

  15. Great activities and a super choice, rich with learning experiences. I love the way you enjoy picture books with a good strong message as not all kids do!

  16. Lovely book! My grand daughter is half Japanese. This would be a lovely book for her.

  17. I like this book already! Thanks Erik.

  18. Thank you so much, Erik! What a wonderful pick for PPBF…I love the story concept…and the illustrations look so iinviting. Your resource and activity list is great. 🙂

  19. This would have been a perfect book to include for our Asian Literature theme. I’ve heard of this book before, but it’s the first review I’ve read so far. I like the fact that you enjoyed it.

  20. Had this book read to us in elementary school. I have been looking for the proper name for over 3 years now! Thanks so much for this! We used to kick our shoes as kids due to this book 🙂 I think we were more correct and consistent than the weatherman 🙂

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