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Monkey Made of Sockies
by Shannon Grissom
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Rating:
Reviewed by: Liliane Goldman

First-time children's author, Shannon Grissom has written a lively story with her Monkey Made of Sockies that is presented in a manner that invites its readers to giggle and laugh.

Grissom effectively captures the pleasures of simple goofiness with her bright, energetic illustrations, as she presents characters with big grins, big ears, big heads. Moreover, Grissom shines as an author/illustrator with her wonderful ability to bring her paintings to life.

The story is a window back in time and a playful tribute to her late mother. The text for this award winning artist and host of the television series: "Give your walls some soul," found its roots when the author began painting a still life and used as her subject some fun objects that once belonged to her mother.

Shannon's forte is in the use of primary colours and bold rendition of all the toys. Their smile is very contagious . You can't help but be in a good mood after you read Monkey Made of Sockies. Shannon loves all her grammy's toys, from the colourful wooden horsey to the merry-go-round, to the tractor, to the bunny. But her favourite of all is Monkey made of Sockies, with his big friendly smiles both on his lips and his derriere.

Our favourite paintings are the ones on the cover of the book (Monkey relaxing on green grass) as well as the close up of the Monkey when "you whisper in his ear, he'll grant you all your wishes". The wooden horse stands out as well with its singing colours of red and blue.

The plush toys are painted so realistically that you want to hug them and sleep with them; especially the bunny and of course Monkey Made of Sockies.

One disappointment, however, were the images of the merry-go-rounds, as well as that of the back of the Monkey's head. It appears like a cup of cocoa full of whipped cream. In addition, each close-up seems to be a repetition of the previous picture. A little more work could have been used here.

On the whole Monkey Made of Sockies is a symphony of huggable colourful characters. It makes you sing, laugh and yes, be happy!

The simple format of the book makes it very accessible and the fun visual language makes it so easily digestible that it will definitely prove to be a magnet to young toddlers. No doubt, they will surely want to sleep with Monkey Made of Sockies under their pillows and wake up to its adorable smile. Kudos to Shannon Grissom for her first children's book!


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