13 September 2007

Crocs in Picture Books?

Today's photo comes from Publishers Weekly, and it captures the launch of Hugh Brewster's Carnation, Lily, Lily, Rose, about the John Singer Sargent painting. But the photo shows a detail that I don't recall from the original: at least two of these lovely little girls are wearing those big-toed, pastel-plastic Crocs shoes. Kinda changes the period feeling, doesn't it?

Four years ago, a British friend turned to me during a summer visit to the States and asked, "What is it with 'carbs'? Why is everyone here so angry about 'carbs'?" That moment passed, and then in the summer of 2006 she asked, "What's with these big plastic shoes? Why are all of you wearing big plastic shoes?"

I myself wasn't wearing such shoes, and I'd already been drawing a blank on the same question. Crocs shoes seemed to appear out of nowhere and pop onto people's feet, especially young people's feet.

Crocs have stuck around for over a year now, so I suppose they fall under a corollary of my--

"Gourmet Cookie Rule": the more a cookie looks like it was scraped off the streets of New York in 1895, the better it tastes--because the bakery couldn't keep selling such an ugly cookie unless it tastes really good.
Similarly, Crocs couldn't sell every American household footwear that looks like a cross between rubber erasers and the iron clogs that Snow White's queen danced herself to death in unless those shoes were actually comfortable.

Nevertheless, I doubt I was alone in wondering if Crocs would disappear as fast as they came, not to be seen again until some future episode of VH1's I Love the '00s. I imagine illustrators and art directors were shy to include them in picture books, with their long lead time, lest that detail turn out to date the book.

So here's a question to those who keep up with the latest and newest: Are Crocs shoes appearing in picture books yet? If not, please keep your eye out for the first sighting and report it here!

2 comments:

Alkelda the Gleeful said...

I am quietly, patiently waiting for Crocs to disappear. (I'm also a staunch defender of the good carb, and can't quite believe than an entire food-group could be wicked. It's "Give us this day our daily bread," not "our daily celery sticks" after all.)

Glenn Ingersoll said...

There was a Slate article on Crocs that helped fill in the blanks for me (up to then I'd just thought their emergence inexplicable):
http://slate.com/id/2170301/

I still haven't tried on a pair.