Monstrous Tales of Missing Socks

If you have young children in the house, then socks are likely to play a far larger role in your life than before. Little Miss Chatterbox prefers to have only one sock on, leaving the other one somewhere very random. Mr Tall has finally got the hang of putting his on without howls of anguish if the seam is just a fraction in the wrong place.  Today’s two story apps are all about what happens when socks go missing – featuring a pair of fun and loveable monsters too!

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Sock Monster by Junoberry

Sock Monster is a short and sweet story about just what happens to all those socks which go missing around the house. “There was always a Sock Monster living in my house,” it begins, and we see a small white furry thing with a toothy grin gobble up all the odd socks in the drawers. He just loves clean socks – sneaking them from drawers, the washing line and even straight from the washing machine. But smelly socks hurt his tummy, and without a supply of clean socks he will fade away. Can you find enough socks to keep him happy?

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The illustrations in this app really shine, thanks to Lorna Freytag, already a veteran of picture book illustration. They are bright, bold and use photography to great effect. The interactions are easy to spot,  involving the reader in the story through finding socks, using the washing machine, and blowing dandelions.  We love the way the Sock Monster changes colour and pattern to match each sock he eats, and his disapproval when you try to make him eat pants!

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The text is very simple and easy for new readers (Mr Tall, just turned 6, loves that he can read it All By Himself.) Being Scottish I am also glad that Junoberry stayed local and used a young Scottish narrator for the story. My only criticism is that after a while, the sock eating could become a little repetitive, but so far my two have not tired of it – it is pitched very well for under fives.

Thanks to Junoberry, I have one copy of Sock Monster to give away! To be included in the draw, please just leave a comment below by Friday 25 October at 6pm UK time and I will draw a winner using random.org

I also have an interview today with Lorna today, looking at her take on books and apps – do have a read!

Sock Monster, developed by Junoberry, compatible with iPad. Available from https://itunes.apple.com/gb/app/my-sock-monster/id691129772?mt=8 priced at £2.99/US$4.99 at time of writing.

monsters_socks_bridge Monster’s Socks by Jordan Stone and Martin Hughes

“Monster was a monster that lived in a box. One day he awoke and his feet had no socks.” With these words, the reader sets off with Monster to find his missing socks. Monster travels across fields, sea and forest, and as night falls he travels in a rocket ship up into the sky and to the moon – but there is no sight of his socks. in the end, they turn out to be a lot closer to home than he realised. In common with Sock Monster, this app is visually very appealing, with a 3D look. The most interesting part is how you navigate the app, as there are no “pages” as such. Pressing the right arrow moves Monster along his path, the screen scrolling with him, and whenever you come to an orange dot, it triggers the next part of the text. This really draws the reader into the story and keeps things nice and easy for young children as only one short section of text appears at a time. There are also many ways to help Monster on his travels with pop-up book style tabs such as pulling a bridge across the river, pulling up grass for cows to eat, and pulling stairs into position.

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This app was a Bologna Ragazzi Digital Award 2013 finalist for children’s fiction at the Bologna Book Fair this year and I can see why, particularly for the way it plays with the structure of stories and layout on screen. This is definitely its strong suit. Although the rhyming story is great fun, I do find it a little weak in parts, both in content and in the way the rhymes have been put together. Overall however, the app looks fantastic, is fun to read and is definitely worth a look.

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Monster’s Socks, developed by Jordan Stone and Martin Hughes, compatible with iPad. Available from https://itunes.apple.com/gb/app/monsters-socks/id521546698?mt=8 priced at  £1.99/US$2.99 at time of writing.

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