A Book in Verse: Shoes in the Night


As we started redesigning Hooked on Phonics Learn to Read, one thing we wanted to do was present new reading challenges for kids as they progress through the system. In addition to introducing more complex sentence structure and longer paragraphs, we had a few other, more playful ideas. One was to create a book in verse for the end of second grade: Shoes in the Night by our own Russell Ginns, illustrated by David Gordon.

At the end of the second grade, a child using the program is probably getting better and better at reading the storybooks, so we liked the extra challenge of reading verse and the fluidity it requires.

Hold on to your socks, here are some excerpts from Shoes in the Night:


The house is still and quiet.
You could hear a dropping pin.
Then, after just a moment,
THEY start creeping in.

The hinges on the front door creak,
And soon I hear them crawl.
First there’s a bump and then a thump.
The boots are in the hall!


I hear the squishing of a sponge.
Plates rattle, glasses clink.
I bet a band of pumps and clogs
Are in the kitchen sink.

I hear some of them jumping.
They skip around a rope.
It sounds like they are having fun,
But do I like it? Nope!


What could those shoes be up to?
What’s making all that sound?
I get up out of bed,
And I start to snoop around.

I have to take a look down there.
I have to take a peek.
I slowly tiptoe down the stairs
And hope the stairs don’t squeak.

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