Socks by Nick Sharratt and Elizabeth Lindsay has been putting smiles on our faces recently. It’s full of good old fashioned nonsense, silly humour, fun wordplay and exuberant illustrations. All in all, it’s perfect for the youngest of kids, and their grown-ups, who like to make silly voices, enjoy a read with a good rhythm and love playing with language.
Mixing Lear-esque linguistic creations with Anthony Brown’s shape game, Sharratt and Lindsay take the humble sock and turn it into all sorts of everything. There’s a socksophone, a socktopus, and Goldisocks dancing through these pages; a sock may be a simple starting point but it can take you anywhere!
Alongside Sharratt’s sock mutations, the text is bouncy and ever so slightly bonkers. For example
For Socktown take a seat
There everybody’s wearing socks
And not just on their FEET!
You can read a longer excerpt for yourself on the publisher’s dedicated Socks page by clicking here. I can imagine some more traditional readers feeling uncomfortable with the linguistic tomfoolery, but I think young listeners everywhere will love it!
It turns out that Nick Sharratt and socks have a some what meaningful relationship. Of course there’s his Octopus, Soctopus but actually socks and him, and his career as a writer and illustrator go way back. He revealed some of this long and special history during the recent Biggest Book Show on Earth – if you go to about 1 hour and 16 minutes into the video available to view on demand at the World Book Day website, you’ll see Nick Sharratt in conversation with Jacqueline Wilson for about 10 minutes. They talk about their work together, but also about how socks played a very important role when they first met! At 1 hour 20 minutes there’s a section specifically about the book Socks, and you can see Nick drawing a sockodile, a hipposockomus and the sock ness monster.
Having read the book we first made some sock puppets using just a couple of socks from our LARGE odd sock pile.
We sewed buttons and wool onto our socks using tapestry needles (big and fairly blunt, so easy for little hands to use).
We also stuck pieces of felt on for noses.
Next we made some sock prints. First we cut out a sock shape from a polystyrene tray and printed sock shapes with it all over a piece of card.
Once the socks were dry we converted the socks into all manner of things…
Whilst drawing sock creatures and making our sock puppets we listened to:
This is a video of the making of One Shoe Blues – definitely worth just under 8 minutes of your time!
Other activities you could enjoy alongside reading Socks include:
Have you got a favourite pair of socks? I do – a blue pair of walking socks which I use instead of slippers.
You know I love comments and talking with you all, but I am STILL without regular internet access (this was a scheduled post) – so rest assured I WILL get in touch just as soon as I can (hopefully late this week or early next week). Do leave a friendly comment to cheer me up