Weary of routine, a sock escapes to discover a wider (sock) world.
Little Sock lives in a drawer of identical loose socks, never has a mate even when taken out, and, according to the narrative, is improbably worn and washed every day. Venturing into a scary secret tunnel at the back of the clothes dryer, Little Sock finds himself in Sock City…which is just like a regular city except that it’s populated by socks. Readers who think “Aha! So that’s where lost socks go!” are doing better than the authors, who not only never make that claim, but are evidently so in love with their metaphor that they never trouble with constructing either a credible backstory or an actual plotline. Hardly does Little Sock arrive in Sock City than, without transition, he’s back where he started, looking forward to bringing a friend on future visits. Along with faces and pipestem limbs, the socks of Sock City all sport different colors or patterns in Park’s bright cartoon illustrations and are also varied in size and shape. Even the ones that pose in pairs are mismatched—a vision of diversity far removed from Little Sock’s monocolored community. Maybe that contrast is the intended point here? Nonetheless, next to the sock-themed exploits of Jennifer Sattler’s One Red Sock (2019) or C.K. Smouha and Eleonora Marton’s Sock Story (2019), there’s less here than meets the eye.
The tunnel bit is clever, but it’s not enough on its own to pull this sketchy outing from the drawer. (Picture book. 5-7)