A creative, playful tale about the fate of missing socks.

THE SECRET SOCK CLUB

A child’s sock encounters some surprising adventures in debut author Werchinski-Yates’ delightful picture book.

The future looks grim for Andy the sock when a mistake at the factory leaves him missing several stitches. But he’s in luck: The Baby Sock Maker stitches him up with an unusual stripe of pale blue thread. The blue stitches quickly distinguish him as a lucky sock when he arrives at the home of Joey Abernathy and his family, and the bonds he shares with his fellow socks make for plenty of giggles and good times. Life as a sock can be tough, though. Yet no matter if it’s sweaty feet, static cling or the ever present danger of the Abernathys’ puppy, Andy meets the challenges of his new life with an upbeat attitude and a relentless sense of fun. However, there’s one obstacle Andy can’t seem to overcome: The blue thread holding him together is falling out, and he’s in danger of being thrown out if the hole gets too big. He’s heard rumors of a “secret sock club” in which socks can seek refuge, but he must find it before it’s too late—and his friends may be counting on him to save the day. Perfect for anyone who wonders where lost socks go, this quirky, endearing story is sure to charm young readers. The satisfying plot hits the tried-and-true notes of a winning children’s book—Andy’s initial rejection, strong friendships, an ability to save the day—but the length and large amount of text per page make this a cumbersome read-aloud and a challenging independent read for young children. For those who can persevere, though, this whimsical take on the life of a sock becomes a memorable, entertaining read held together by gentle humor.

A creative, playful tale about the fate of missing socks.

Pub Date: Oct. 1, 2013

ISBN: 978-0-9855689-9-3

Page Count: 29

Publisher: Lucky Sock Publishing

Review Posted Online: June 19, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2014

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A sweet, soft conversation starter and a charming gift.

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BECAUSE I HAD A TEACHER

A paean to teachers and their surrogates everywhere.

This gentle ode to a teacher’s skill at inspiring, encouraging, and being a role model is spoken, presumably, from a child’s viewpoint. However, the voice could equally be that of an adult, because who can’t look back upon teachers or other early mentors who gave of themselves and offered their pupils so much? Indeed, some of the self-aware, self-assured expressions herein seem perhaps more realistic as uttered from one who’s already grown. Alternatively, readers won’t fail to note that this small book, illustrated with gentle soy-ink drawings and featuring an adult-child bear duo engaged in various sedentary and lively pursuits, could just as easily be about human parent- (or grandparent-) child pairs: some of the softly colored illustrations depict scenarios that are more likely to occur within a home and/or other family-oriented setting. Makes sense: aren’t parents and other close family members children’s first teachers? This duality suggests that the book might be best shared one-on-one between a nostalgic adult and a child who’s developed some self-confidence, having learned a thing or two from a parent, grandparent, older relative, or classroom instructor.

A sweet, soft conversation starter and a charming gift. (Picture book. 4-7)

Pub Date: March 1, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-943200-08-5

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Compendium

Review Posted Online: Dec. 14, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2017

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An engaging mix of gentle behavior modeling and inventive story ideas that may well provide just the push needed to get some...

RALPH TELLS A STORY

With a little help from his audience, a young storyteller gets over a solid case of writer’s block in this engaging debut.

Despite the (sometimes creatively spelled) examples produced by all his classmates and the teacher’s assertion that “Stories are everywhere!” Ralph can’t get past putting his name at the top of his paper. One day, lying under the desk in despair, he remembers finding an inchworm in the park. That’s all he has, though, until his classmates’ questions—“Did it feel squishy?” “Did your mom let you keep it?” “Did you name it?”—open the floodgates for a rousing yarn featuring an interloping toddler, a broad comic turn and a dramatic rescue. Hanlon illustrates the episode with childlike scenes done in transparent colors, featuring friendly-looking children with big smiles and widely spaced button eyes. The narrative text is printed in standard type, but the children’s dialogue is rendered in hand-lettered printing within speech balloons. The episode is enhanced with a page of elementary writing tips and the tantalizing titles of his many subsequent stories (“When I Ate Too Much Spaghetti,” “The Scariest Hamster,” “When the Librarian Yelled Really Loud at Me,” etc.) on the back endpapers.

An engaging mix of gentle behavior modeling and inventive story ideas that may well provide just the push needed to get some budding young writers off and running. (Picture book. 6-8)

Pub Date: Sept. 18, 2012

ISBN: 978-0761461807

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Amazon Children's Publishing

Review Posted Online: Aug. 22, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 2012

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