The lives of working mothers have caused certain metaphors, not to mention clichés work overtime: we wear a variety of hats; we juggle to keep numerous balls in the air; we wage battles at home and at work – you can surely supply others.
That’s what Kristie Finnan has done in her new book, Mommy’s High Heel Shoes . Spinning off the familiar image of young children clopping clumsily around in their mothers’ shoes, Finnan has fashioned a way to explore the various “shoes” mothers wear as they walk the various paths of their lives. Thus, after her mother leaves for work wearing high heels, a little girl rather cloyingly nicknamed “Cakes” (because she likes cupcakes) explores her mother’s closet.
First come the heels, wobbly and uncomfortable, so the girl speculates why her mother would wear such tricky things: perhaps she needs to be tall so she can work with giants. Maybe the high heels help her climb up beanstalks. Tossing off the heels, she proceeds to try on every pair in the closet – and there are lots and lots of shoes – for going to the park, for buying cupcakes, for giving Cakes a bath, for working in the garden – lots of different shoes “because mommies have lots of things to do.” Well, yes.
But not all mommies can afford dozens of different shoes to do all those things in. That presumption, along with a certain heavy-handedness to the message, are drawbacks. Still, there are few enough books out there explaining mothers’ work to young children. In addition, this one features charming illustrations by Pat Achilles’s. Though for some unexplained reason a tiny ladybug hides on each page, this adds a sweet interactive component to the text.
It should also be noted that fifty cents from each copy sold at www.mommyshoes.com  online shop will go to working mother entrepreneurs through Kiva.org .