If You Could Wear My Sneakers! is a children’s book for kids aged 4+, written by Sheree Fitch and illustrated by Darcia Labrosse. It contains 15 poems that are connected to different children’s rights, as outlined by the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child. This book is great because it’s an inviting and easy read, but still manages to hint at important issues.
Each poem in this book talks about one of the articles from the UN Convention. One of my favourites is the poem entitled “Dr. P. Uffin”, which is a silly tale of a puffin who wants to go to school. It’s actually a reference to every child’s right to an education, including a free primary-level education, presented in a cute way. Another poem, “And Who Are You?” lists a bunch of absurd names from A to Z, and finishes by saying, “You might think it a strange name / You might think it long / But you know what? It’s my name / Every name is a song” which is a perfect way to demonstrate that every child has the right to their name and nationality. The rest of the poems in If You Could Wear My Sneakers! touch on other articles from the UN Convention, with a similar tone of sentiment and warmth.
How can parents use this book?
See if you can find your favourite poem, as well as your child’s. Since the structure of the poems are easy to sing or clap along to, your child might find it fun to do this aloud depending on their age. After each poem, you can explain its meaning, or better yet, ask your child what they think. This book is a nice introduction to learning about finding meaning in poetry, which of course will strengthen as your child grows older. If your child is not old enough to read the book (since it does contain some bigger words and made-up ones), you can read aloud and show them the colourful illustrations.
According to author Sheree Fitch, “These poems do not ‘teach’ rights. They are meant to be enjoyed as poems and then, I hope, to start a discussion between children and adults about issues that affect…children around the world.” Feel free to use this book as an introduction into discussing the rights your young one has!
You can search for the title in Burnaby or Vancouver public libraries at: