Book: Have You Seen My New Blue Socks?
Author: Eve Bunting
Illustrator: Sergio Ruzzier
Age Range: 3-7
Have You Seen My New Blue Socks? is a highly read-aloudable picture book by Eve Bunting and Sergio Ruzzier. It's the story of a little green duck who, as the title would suggest, is unable to find a new pair of blue socks. He knows that he put them somewhere nearby, but can't remember where. He asks various friends for help, but no one knows. Until a helpful peacock finally spots a glimpse of a blue sock.
The beauty of this book is that way that Bunting channels Dr. Seuss in her rhyming text, while still giving Have You Seen My New Blue Socks? a fresh, original feel. Like this:
"Peacocks? Have you seen my socks?
I did not put them in my box.
I asked my good friend Mr. Fox.
I asked my good friend Mr. Ox.
Peacocks? Have you seen my socks?
They are such a pretty blue!
I just got them. They are new."
Have You Seen My New Blue Socks? is a pure joy to read aloud, pretty much impossible to stop once one has started. And really, who can't relate to the frustrating of losing a beloved item, especially a beloved item that is new?
[My four year old daughter, on her first reading of the book, guessed where the socks were on the second page. Then later she was excited to point out her first glimpse of the socks (exactly where she had thought that they would be). This in no way diminished her enjoyment of the book - I think it enhanced it by making her feel clever and/or observant.]
Ruzzier's pen and ink and watercolor illustrations convey clearly the disgruntlement of the little duck, and the concern on the part of his friends. The concerned blue peacocks, tails quiet, are particularly appealing. The color scheme is relatively muted. Ruzzier includes absurd details here and there, like the fact that Mr. Ox is painting a watercolor of a twisted tree, sitting on a little footstool.
Between the rhyming text and the gentle illustrations, not to mention the universal theme, Have You Seen My New Blue Socks? is a perfect read-aloud for preschoolers. It would make a nice, soothing bedtime book, at least on subsequent reads, once the suspense of the location of the socks has been satisfied. Highly recommended (and long overdue for this review)!
Publisher: Clarion Books (@HMHBooks)
Publication Date: March 5, 2013
Source of Book: Review copy from the publisher
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