Review + Teachers’ Notes: ‘Go Go and the Silver Shoes’

Home » Review + Teachers’ Notes: ‘Go Go and the Silver Shoes’

A super sparkly story of one independently minded little girl, and the unexpected, precious ways life sometimes works.

Title: ‘Go Go and the Silver Shoes’
Author:  Jane Godwin
Illustrator: Anna Walker
Publisher: Penguin Books Australia 
Age Range: early childhood, lower primary.
Themes: siblings, family, individuality, personality, creativity,
Awards: CBCA Picture Book of the Year: Notable book 2019; Australian Book Industry Awards 2019: Longlisted Children’s Picture Book of the Year; Queensland Literary Awards 2018: Shortlisted Children’s Book.

Anyone else ever hug a book that they love and adore? A kindergarten child recently pointed out to me that I do this in library lessons and when I thought about it I realised he was indeed correct, I do have a tendency to embrace an adored book when I am promoting it to a class…possibly a librarian trait? I do distinctly remember grabbing ‘Go Go and the Silver Shoes’ and hugging it when I first spied it in a box of new books for the library – ever-excited for an Anna Walker and Jane Godwin collaboration. I have now read ‘Go Go and the Silver Shoes’ well over thirty times and I still feel the need to hug it each and every time I finish it. It is a sublime example of picture book perfection and it’s endearing characters and gorgeous, quirky storyline bring the reader enormous joy – one cannot help but fall in love with this book.

Main character Go Go is a fiercely independent girl who hops along to the beat of her own drum. With three older brothers and a lot of hand me down clothes in her life, she has created her own unique style. One very exciting day she gets a brand new pair of super sparkly shoes that she simply adores and she wears them everywhere, even adventuring in creeks with her brothers (against her mother’s advice). One of Go Go’s fabulously sparkly shoes is lost in the creek, and while at this point my own children would have sobbed…Go Go shows resilience, creativity and inventiveness in the face of such a shoe tragedy and in the end is well and truly rewarded for her grit!

I was so pleased to see ‘Go Go and the Silver Shoes’ on the CBCA Picture Book notable list. While it could just have easily sat on the CBCA Early Childhood notable list, as it is certainly written for a young audience, it is most at home on the Picture Book list as an exemplary example of a sophisticated interplay of text and illustrations for young and old alike.

Click on title links or cover image to purchase.

Follow it Up in the Home, Classroom or Library

Teachers’ Notes prepared by teacher Melissa Kroeger for Children’s Books Daily in context with the Australian Curriculum. Further teachers’ notes can be found on the publisher website here

Title: ‘Go Go and the Silver Shoes’
Author:  Jane Godwin
Illustrator: Anna Walker

‘Go Go always made her outfits look interesting, but some people didn’t think so. Like Annabelle, at school. The only things Go Go bought from a shop were underpants and shoes. That’s why Go Go loved shoes. New shoes.’



  • English


  • Personal and Social Capabilities (Foundation – Year 2)
  • Literacy (Year 6)
  • Critical and Creative Thinking (Year 6)

This links perfectly with the Learning Continuum of Personal and Social Capability, Self-Awareness and Self Management Elements, under the Australian Curriculum.


Sub-element: Recognise emotions

  • recognise and identify their own emotions

Sub-element: Recognise personal qualities and achievements

  • express a personal preference



Sub-element: Recognise emotions

  • identify a range of emotions and describe situations that may evoke these emotions

Sub-element: Recognise personal qualities and achievements

  • identify their likes and dislikes, needs and wants, and explore what influences these



Sub-element: Recognise emotions

  • compare their emotional responses with those of their peers

Sub-element: Recognise personal qualities and achievements

  • identify and describe personal interests, skills and achievements and explain how these contribute to family and school life

Sub-element: Understand themselves as learners

  • discuss their strengths and weaknesses as learners and identify some learning strategies to assist them

Sub-element: Develop reflective practice

  • reflect on what they have learnt about themselves from a range of experiences at home and school



Sub-element: Express emotions appropriately

  • express their emotions constructively in interactions with others

Sub-element: Become confident resilient and adaptable

  • identify situations that feel safe or unsafe, approaching new situations with confidence




  1. Read the title and show the front cover, and ask:
  • What or who is Go Go?
  • What makes you think that Go Go is the girl on the front cover?
  • From looking at the front cover what types of things do you think Go Go likes to do?
  • What type of personality do you think Go Go has? (fun, adventurous, crazy, gentle, kind?)
  • Did you notice that Go Go’s silver shoes are glittery and sparkly? Why has the illustrator made them stand out?
  1. Read the blurb on the back cover, and ask:
  • Who’s ever had new shoes?
  • What are your favourite shoes? Why?
  • What terrible things could happen at the creek with Go Go’s new shoes?!
  1. Allow students to look up close at the amazing illustrations that Anna Walker has created on the front and back covers and end papers and ask:
  • How do you think these illustrations were created? What mediums were used? Pencil? Watercolour ink? Collage? Paint?
  • Have a look at this video of Anna Walker painting a character using watercolour ink and a light-board.


Read the book – read the book consecutively, below are pages selected to prompt discussion along the way:

  • Read Page 2 and discuss who else wears clothes that used to belong to an older sibling or older friend? These can be called ‘hand-me-down’ clothes. What do you think that means? Is it ok to wear ‘hand-me-down’ clothes? Children tend to wear more ‘hand-me-down’ clothes because they grow so fast so they don’t wear out their clothing! 
  • Read Page 3 and discuss what ‘interesting’ means. Look at Go Go and find what is interesting about her outfit (long, colourful socks, lots of different colours). What type of person is Annabelle? Annabelle is standing with her hands on her hips – what is that body language telling us? Annabelle’s mouth is drawn with a straight line – what type of mood could Annabelle be in? Can you make the same face as Annabelle? Look back on the previous page at Go Go and her brothers – their mouths are drawn differently and their arms are out or up. What type of mood do you think they are in? Can you make the same face as Go Go’s brothers? Annabelle has a friend standing either side of her. How do you think this would make her feel (more powerful, stronger)? Do you think bullies can sometimes act like this? Do you think that bullies need the other people around them to make them feel stronger? 
  • Read Pages 4 and 5. Look at all the different types of shoes! What would your most beautiful shoes look like? What colour would they be? What design would they have on them? Would they be pointy or round or boots to your knees? What would make your shoes different to everybody else’s? 
  • Read Pages 8 and 9. Oh dear! What might happen? What makes you think so? 
  • Read Pages 12 and 13. Look at how Go Go is walking – what is her body language telling us about her? Her hands are to her sides, her head is looking down at the ground. How do you think her face might look? Can you make that emotion with your face and body? Have you ever felt like this? What made you feel like that way? 
  • Before reading page 14 look at the illustration of Go Go. How do you think she is feeling? What tells you this? Read the page. Go Go is in a ‘very cross mood’ – what does that mean?
  • Before reading page 16 ask students to describe the feelings/emotions of Go Go and her brothers. Can you make these emotions with your face and body? When do you feel like this? What happened?
  • Read page 17. Go Go says she doesn’t care that her shoes don’t match because her loves her shoe so much. Do you think that Annabelle is being nice or nasty by pointing out that Go Go’s shoes don’t match? Why? Has someone ever made a comment to you about what you were wearing? How did it make you feel?
  • Can you spot Go Go’s sparkly shoe on Page 19?
  • Read Page 20. Look at Go Go – do you think that she wants to show the new girl around the school? In the illustration, Annabelle has her hand up. Do you think that she wants to show the new girl around instead? How do you think Annabelle feels when the teacher asks Go Go to show the new girl around? Can you make this emotion with your face and body? Would this emotion be disappointment or angry or something else? Have you ever felt this way? What happened?
  • Read Page 23. Do you think that Go Go believes that Ellie might want to go and play with Annabelle instead? Do you think she will? Why? Has this ever happened to you? What happened?
  • Read Page 24. How do you think Go Go feels when she discovers that Ellie has her shoe? Can you make this emotion with your face and body? Do you think that Ellie will give the shoe back to Go Go? Why? Why not?
  • Read Pages 25 and 26. What do you think the girls might do with the shoe? Brainstorm ideas.
  • Read Page 27. Look at the illustration. What kind of emotion are Ellie and Go Go feeling? Can you make this emotion with your face and body too? The girls share the shoes – is this a nice thing to do? Why? Do you think that one of the girls may have been upset if the other got to keep both the shoes? Why? Is it fair? Discuss the word ‘compromise’ (a way of reaching an agreement when both sides give up something that they both wanted to end the argument). Did Ellie and Go Go come to a compromise? Have you ever come to a compromise? What happened? How did it make you feel?


Suggested Activities to follow up from discussions:

  • Emotion Face Chart. On the white board draw up 6-8 equal size boxes. Draw a circle inside of the boxes. Ask students to say an emotion eg: ‘happy’ then ask them to draw what ‘happy’ looks like in the box using the circle as the face and write the word underneath. Continue until students have filled the boxes. Alternatively this could be done as an individual activity using mini white boards or pieces of paper.
  • Draw a Picture. Draw a picture of you and a friend playing nicely. Where will you be – in the playground/at home/at school/the beach? What will your facial expressions and body expressions be like?
  • Making a Pair of Shoes. Using newspaper and sticky tape have children design a pair of shoes that they can wear. What will a shoe need? – a sole, a strap to hold your foot in, it must fit you. Things to think about – will layers of newspaper make it stronger? Do you need to decorate it? Then find someone else with the same shoe size as you and swap a shoe with them – they are now your ‘Shoe Buddy’.


Shoe design compliments of my son, Ari.


ENGLISH – Year 6 

Content Description: ACELT1800 Experiment with text structures and language features and their effects in creating literary texts, for example, using imagery, sentence variation, metaphor and word choice


  • selecting and using sensory language to convey a vivid picture of places, feelings and events in a semi-structured verse form


Content Description: ACELY1801 Analyse strategies authors use to influence readers


  • identify how authors use language to position the reader and give reasons




The author, Jane Godwin says: ‘I’ve always been interested in the idea of shoes in stories. From Cinderella, to Hans Christian Andersen’s The Red Shoes, Dorothy’s red shoes (in the book they were silver) in The Wizard of Oz and even Puss in Boots. And think of the importance of our first pair of shoes – often a baby’s first pair of shoes is a sign of independence, of their ability to ‘step out’ into the world. Shoes in fairy tales often have some kind of magical, transformative power. Sometimes they help a character find grounding in the world, and change a character’s life in some way. They also have a contradictory aspect to them – shoes restrict/ bind our feet, but they also protect our feet as they help us to move across the world, and help us to where we need to go in life. Getting new shoes can be seen as getting a new support system to help us get to where you want to go and to feel protected/safe. Shoes are also like a sign/symbol of independence – we ‘step out into the world’ in our shoes. I’ve always wanted to write a book about shoes!’


There is a metaphor about shoes in this book, ‘Go Go and the Silver Shoes’. Whilst listening or reading the story try to work out what you believe that metaphor is.


Read the book



  1. As a class discuss the ‘shoe’ metaphor that you believe was embedded in the story.
  2. What language has the author, Jane Godwin used in the story to influence us:
  • Go Go is ‘different’
  • Annabelle is a bully
  • Go Go was not afraid to stand up to Annabelle
  • The relationship between Go Go and her brothers
  • Fate influenced Go Go’s life



  1. Google metaphors for shoes. Do any resinate with you? Which ones do you understand? Which ones do you not understand? Discuss your findings with the class.
  2. Write your own story which has a shoe metaphor eg: ‘Walk a mile in someone else’s shoes’. Include language and strategies to influence your reader.


Megan Daley Bio

Looking for more great book reviews and recommendations? I’m Megan Daley and you can find out more about me here.

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