A boy who believes his magic socks are the reason for his grand adventures learns the real magic lies within.
Perched in the treetops, a bespectacled boy in red socks travels to faraway lands, where he climbs mountains, swims rivers, and plays with animals among the clouds. To him, his socks make it all possible, and without them there would be no journey, no return home. But when he finds himself barefoot midadventure, the black-haired, light-complexioned Tom realizes his imagination is the real key to his travels. Densely textured backgrounds done in watercolor, acrylic, gouache, and paper collage stand in contrast to the simplified human protagonist. The vibrant palette and kinetic flurry of energy on the spreads make each vignette a fascinating stand-alone piece. While much skill is applied to the texturing and design of the creatures, however, at times there is so much layering of color and contrast of textures that details are lost and images almost appear neutral—although close inspection can unearth hidden treasures in the art, suggesting that this title will work better one-on-one with a reader in a lap than in a group.
Simple, almost folktalelike text celebrates the imagination in this visually dense offering. (Picture book. 4-7)