Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Children's Book Review: 'Have You Seen My New Blue Socks?' by Eve Bunting

Have You Seen My New Blue Socks?
by Eve Bunting
illustrated by Sergio Ruzzier
Clarion Books, 2013

In the tradition of Dr. Seuss comes Eve Bunting's latest book Have You Seen My New Blue Socks, illustrated by Sergio Ruzzier. It is a testament to Bunting's skill as a writer and Ruzzier's engaging illustrations that this book firmly stands on its own two feet (no pun intended) in spite of its read-alike echoes:

     Duck has lost his new blue socks.
     Did he put them in his box?
     He knows he put them somewhere near.
                                                                              How could they simply disappear?

He asks the fox, and the ox if they've seen his socks. He looks for them on the rocks, and then approaches the peacocks, who reveal that duck is wearing his new socks.

Ruzzier sets the story against a muted pastel landscape reminiscent of the southwest and uses the occasional contrast of a white background to draw attention to Duck's expressions as he journeys through the book on his quest to find his lost socks. The indoor scenes are casual and messy, which gives the book a comfortable, lived-in feel.

The first-grade students that I read this story to enjoyed the repetition of sounds, the search for the socks, and the humor in the fact that Duck was wearing them all along (and that they appear to be a little too big for him). Fans of Dr. Seuss (and who isn't?) will enjoy seeing some of the familiar rhythms and rhymes of Fox in Socks presented in a fresh new way.

Eve Bunting is the author of many beloved picture books. She was born in Ireland and lives in Pasadena, California

Sergio Ruzzier has illustrated numerous picture books, some of which he also wrote. Italian by birth, he lives in New York City. He became a member of the Maurice Sendak Fellowship in 2011. 

Renée Vaillancourt McGrath
has worked at Montana Public Radio as a program host since 2002. Her background is in librarianship and she currently works as a freelance editor, blogger, and website developer. Check out more of her book reviews at reneesreads.com.

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