The Great Sock Secret, by Susan Whelan

Finally the mystery of the missing sock has been solved! Sarah’s mother is tired of finding odd socks in the laundry basket. While she thinks the puppy is responsible, Sarah knows better. And her mother mustn’t find out the truth.

The Great Sock Secret is a fantastical adventure into an imaginative fairy-filled world. While the story is simple and an easy read, it is the illustrations that make it come to life. They are bold yet subtle at the same time, full of whimsy and magic. Gwynneth Jones does an incredible job, capturing the mystical cheekiness and attitude of the fairies.

Books don’t necessarily need words to get their point across, and it is lovely to see a number of pages sans words. Wordless picture books, even if it is just a few pages, are few and far between sadly. The glorious picture-only pages  in The Great Sock Secret tell the tale every bit as inspiring and magical as those with words. There’s a huge benefit in wordless pages – they encourage new vocabulary, help develop storytelling skills and present opportunities to practice writing. My pre-schooler had great fun ‘reading’ and understanding those pages all by herself. For older children, they will be encouraged by their ability to ‘read’ the story fluently, and will learn that clues to a story can be found in the pictures; a useful reading strategy to help them when reading text.

The pictures and story lend themselves to endless questions and fun. As well as hunting for the fairies, we spent time spotting socks, as well as inventing new ways to use socks, where else a sock could go, and on and on. While adults will be encouraged by all the wonderful reading and comprehension strategies this book will naturally encourage, The Great Sock Secret is a fun-filled, magical tale that will delight little readers.

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TITLE: The Great Sock Secret
AUTHOR(S): Susan Whelan
ILLUSTRATOR: Gwynneth Jones
PUBLISHER: HarperCollins
RRP: $19.99
ISBN: 9781925335248

Rebekah is an Otago-based mother of two young girls. The former journalist and primary school teacher has a soft spot for New Zealand authors and young adult fiction. Follow her on Twitter.

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