The Left Shoe aspires to address the most important mental models for kids to understand told through a series of encounters around the world.
The entire series will consist of nine short books, covering the major seven geographic areas of the world along with an intro and a conclusion. It all rhymes, too.
A partial list of themes and lessons covered includes:
- Going beyond our comfort zone
- Overcoming fear (sample)
- Social pressure (e.g. social media popularity) vs. internal validation (sample)
- Dealing with homesickness
- Respecting elders
- Being fully present in the moment
- Discipline & hard work
- Materialism (sample)
- Separation anxiety
- Dealing with loss (people will come and go)
- World events (e.g. war)
- Misinformation and validating info sources (sample)
- Value of diversity (sample)
- Power of words (watch what you say)
- Balance (second-order effects)
- Confronting history (apartheid, slavery, etc.) (sample)
- Admitting mistakes (sample)
- Overcoming setback and rejection (resiliency)
And with all of these being taught through tales from different parts of the world, the connecting tissue is that of learning from others in an interconnected world.
Some of these topics may be complex for younger kids to grasp, but I believe they often understand more than we think they do. We envision The Left Shoe to provide an immersive reading experience between parent & child or teacher & student. By design, we chose the rhyming pattern and illustration style as a way to keep young readers engaged, where the parent/teacher can interactively offer more context behind the meanings, while older kids may grasp all of the meanings on their own. And of course, we think you adults may also enjoy the story just as much!