LEXI AND THE SOCK MONSTER

An 8-year-old girl deals with the trials and tribulations of growing up in this debut book, the first in an anticipated series.

To say that Lexi Blender is having a difficult week may be the understatement of the year. She’s dealing with Kyle, a school bully who teases her at every opportunity, a grouchy substitute teacher named Mrs. Butters who has an unwarranted vendetta against her and a disagreeable cafeteria milk lady who refuses to give her a break at lunchtime. As if that isn’t enough, Lexi’s father recently remarried and she’s adjusting to being part of a newly blended family. Despite everything that’s being thrown at her, however, Lexi manages to handle the pressure beautifully, even utilizing Principal Giles’ thoughtful suggestions for dealing with her anger. But when Lexi’s parents’ warnings go unheeded and they continue to find her socks strewn around the house, Lexi is punished by not being allowed to attend cheerleading tryouts. Disappointed and frustrated that nobody believes that she’s innocent, Lexi is determined to get to the bottom of the sock debacle. And as she does just that, she learns that sometimes it’s the people who continuously disappoint you who ultimately come through in the end. Shainoff’s book provides the young reader with a candid look at how painful growing up can really be—especially when you’re disregarded simply because you’re a kid. From navigating the complicated politics of elementary school, to a genuine look at the difficulties a merged family faces, Shainoff covers many of the troubles a modern-day kid encounters. While some may find the ubiquitous grammatical errors troubling and the character development lacking, other readers will find it easy to overlook these minor flaws thanks to the endearing, likable Lexi. Short and simple, this book serves as a charming reprieve from the real-life difficulties of growing up. In a world chock-full of unsuitable subject matter, parents will appreciate the appropriate storylines of this book, and kids will enjoy spending time with Lexi.

 

Pub Date: Sept. 17, 2010

ISBN: 978-1453837955

Page Count: 55

Publisher: CreateSpace

Review Posted Online: Jan. 12, 2012

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

More gift book than storybook, this is a meaningful addition to nursery bookshelves

MAYBE

A young child explores the unlimited potential inherent in all humans.

“Have you ever wondered why you are here?” asks the second-person narration. There is no one like you. Maybe you’re here to make a difference with your uniqueness; maybe you will speak for those who can’t or use your gifts to shine a light into the darkness. The no-frills, unrhymed narrative encourages readers to follow their hearts and tap into their limitless potential to be anything and do anything. The precisely inked and colored artwork plays with perspective from the first double-page spread, in which the child contemplates a mountain (or maybe an iceberg) in their hands. Later, they stand on a ladder to place white spots on tall, red mushrooms. The oversized flora and fauna seem to symbolize the presumptively insurmountable, reinforcing the book’s message that anything is possible. This quiet read, with its sophisticated central question, encourages children to reach for their untapped potential while reminding them it won’t be easy—they will make messes and mistakes—but the magic within can help overcome falls and failures. It’s unlikely that members of the intended audience have begun to wonder about their life’s purpose, but this life-affirming mood piece has honorable intentions. The child, accompanied by an adorable piglet and sporting overalls and a bird-beaked cap made of leaves, presents white.

More gift book than storybook, this is a meaningful addition to nursery bookshelves . (Picture book. 2-8)

Pub Date: Sept. 15, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-946873-75-0

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Compendium

Review Posted Online: May 22, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2019

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

Visually accomplished but marred by stereotypical cultural depictions.

HOME

Ellis, known for her illustrations for Colin Meloy’s Wildwood series, here riffs on the concept of “home.”

Shifting among homes mundane and speculative, contemporary and not, Ellis begins and ends with views of her own home and a peek into her studio. She highlights palaces and mansions, but she also takes readers to animal homes and a certain famously folkloric shoe (whose iconic Old Woman manages a passel of multiethnic kids absorbed in daring games). One spread showcases “some folks” who “live on the road”; a band unloads its tour bus in front of a theater marquee. Ellis’ compelling ink and gouache paintings, in a palette of blue-grays, sepia and brick red, depict scenes ranging from mythical, underwater Atlantis to a distant moonscape. Another spread, depicting a garden and large building under connected, transparent domes, invites readers to wonder: “Who in the world lives here? / And why?” (Earth is seen as a distant blue marble.) Some of Ellis’ chosen depictions, oddly juxtaposed and stripped of any historical or cultural context due to the stylized design and spare text, become stereotypical. “Some homes are boats. / Some homes are wigwams.” A sailing ship’s crew seems poised to land near a trio of men clad in breechcloths—otherwise unidentified and unremarked upon.

Visually accomplished but marred by stereotypical cultural depictions. (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: Feb. 24, 2015

ISBN: 978-0-7636-6529-6

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Candlewick

Review Posted Online: Nov. 18, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2014

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet
more