Friday, October 18, 2019
One Red Sock
First sentence: In a big pink chair in a room full of dots...sat a purple hippo wearing one red sock.
Premise/plot: The star of this new picture book is an adorable purple hippo. She is a frustrated hippo. She can’t find a match for her red sock. It is completely missing. So what is a hippo to do?! Will she throw a fit? Have a meltdown? Ask for help? Or brainstorm a solution all her own?
My thoughts: I recommend reading this one at least twice. The first time I read it, I was so wrapped up in the story—including the adorable illustrations—that I completely missed how the rhyming text was planting predictable clues as to what color sock she would try next. I didn’t catch on that this was a color book at all. And I don’t think that is its primary or even secondary purpose. I think the purpose is to teach an important life skill: coping with life when things aren’t perfectly perfect. Sometimes perfect is not going to happen. Sometimes needing something to be perfect causes unnecessary stress. Wearing one red sock and one polka dotted sock isn’t the only right solution, mind you. There could be many different right solutions. I do like that she solved her own problem without too much drama. (That is she doesn’t force her drama on the whole household or the world. She also doesn’t resort to tears and more tears.)
I loved this one. I do wish she had a name, however. I found her a relatable character. Haven’t we all had one red sock days?! It would be super fun to dress up as her.
© 2019 Becky Laney of Young Readers