A vexing question—where did all the baby socks go?—finds a surprising, heartwarming answer in this debut rhyming picture book.
In the promising opening lines, readers learn that “deep inside the wall behind the washing machine, / lives the most mischievous creature you have ever seen.” As illustrated by Lu (The Blind Man’s Dog, 2018, etc.), the small creature, called Fussy Willikers, is elfin and furry, with clever little hands. According to a poster, Fussy’s goals are to “TAKE ALL SOCKS,” “BATHE IN SOCKS,” and “BE HAPPY.” Today, he has a special objective: take one sock from each colored pair. All day, the white mother and baby wonder why socks are disappearing. But rather than bathing in his loot, Fussy sews a blanket from the stolen socks, snuggling it around the infant. Ryan McLemore and Ashley McLemore offer a heart-melting explanation for lost socks, presented in rhyming couplets with the repetition that children love. The tale delivers a perfect balance of mischief, mystery (what is Fussy up to?), and sweetness, ending with the lines “And in the end, Fussy did not mind the chore, / because while he loves socks, he loves baby much more.” The softly colored illustrations enhance the story with whimsy and well-chosen details.
A charming, humorous read-aloud tale that concludes on a tender note.