Friday, March 11, 2016

An Odd Sock Story

An Odd Sock Story
By Rose Hart (Author), Elvira Grassia (Author), Jan Hart (Illustrator)

A Book Review by Ginger Dawn Harman

An Odd Sock Story proves that children’s literature can be fun while delivering a strong social message.  Young listeners between the age of 3 and 9 will be entertained by the relationship between Malcolm and his mixed match friend Petunia. The story begins as Malcolm is not getting along with his perfect sock match named Sharon. Yet, they both have heard mysterious tales of socks disappearing in the laundry. And both wish to separate in the wash. As the laundry cycle begins, Malcolm is transported to Sockland. This is when he meets a sparkling sock named Sammy and the adventure begins.

Children will be empowered by seeing that not everyone gets along but one can explore different cultures and relationships with and without judgement. An Odd Sock Story presents that laws and perspectives can be changed in a safe and appropriate manner. 

What I Liked: This is an imaginative story with lots of room for schools, therapist, and families to use as a springboard for discussions. Furthermore, by having each chapter scene numbered, classrooms can take turns as children are assigned with a start and stopping point. The font and size of the words are appropriate and easy to follow for young readers or children with sight difficulty. This is a short read, so perfect for bedtime, class time filler, or short wait in a doctor’s office. Hart and Grassia’s writing is perfectly paired with comical sketches by Jan Hart, making the experience all the more authentic, as readers follow the personal experience of Malcolm and Petunia. The first-person story perspective will make readers feel invited and welcomed into the world of Sockland

 What I Did Not Like: There is a tad bit of overwriting. For example, “You know exactly which socks you’re going to wear but when you look for them one pair has gone. Gone forever. Where did it go?” Stories for young children need to be clear and concise. One could rearrange the above by saying, “You search for the pair of socks, the ones you want to wear but one sock is missing. Where did it go” This is important to have tightly knitted lines when teachers or children are reading aloud for comprehension and flow. The only other part that I did not like was the overuse of “LY” words. In the first two paragraphs on page one there are five “LY” words.  It is distracting and interrupts the flow of the story. This bad case of “LY” words does tapper off as you make further progress in the book. 

All Photos are from Author's Facebook page
Cartoonish illustrations by Jan Hart add to An Odd Sock Story’s appeal. Though some puns may go over kids' heads, its fun to see that a statue of Sockrates is standing in front of the courthouse and it might be fun for children to notice the extra wiffy cheese on page 13. The color choices and creative drawings are some of the best I have seen. Balancing illustration with engaging action is no easy feat, but Hart succeeds in carrying the narrative forward. Without spoiling the novel’s ending, I will say that it was socktastic and I look forward to reading more by Rose Hart and Elvira Grassia. I give high praise to An Odd Sock Story! This Review is also featured on Farmgirl Unleashed and


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