Sock Story and Born Bad by C K Smouha

Sock Story by C K Smouha Born Bad by C K Smouha

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Sock Story and Born Bad – at a glance

The School Reading Lists’ five word review: Books for children facing difficulties.
Children’s book titles: Sock Story and Born Bad.
Children’s author: by C K Smouha.
Genre: Children’s picture books.
Illustrated by: Eleanor Marton (Sock Story) and Stephen Smith (Born Bad).
Published by: Cicada Books.
Recommended for children aged: 3-8.
First published: Paperback March 2020.
These children’s books are ideal for: showing children how to cope with challenges.


Our review:

It’s not easy being a child, something which, once we ‘grow up’, we tend to forget. Even the happiest and most secure people have had to cope with days, weeks and months of uncertainty, unease and confusion. Children are entirely dependent on others, have no choice in what they do, where they go or even what they eat.

Once we begin to mix with other children, new difficulties can arise and multiply: what are these strangers like, will they want my company, what do I do if things change? From the age of seven or eight we are bound to be faced with some of these problems. Changing school, moving house, adjusting to new siblings (or whole new family combinations;) all test our ability to adapt.

C K Smouha has produced two challenging and entertaining books for youngsters who may be facing these things.

Sock Story inside spread

Sock Story features Phil and Dale, a pair of socks who look forward to the weekly wash and the opportunity to swirl and gambol about, annoying the older, more conventional, items of clothing who live in the world of the washing machine. They are mysteriously separated. Phil is devastated, but later Dale turns up. But he’s slightly pinker than he used to be.

This surreal tale explores the friendship, loyalty and joy which, for most of us, starts to fade away after the age of ten.

Born Bad by C K Smouha spread

Born Bad explores a more nuanced and shaded territory. How do we cope with ‘bad’ feelings at a time in our lives when we find everything so difficult to manage anyway?

Wolf is confused and disappointed with himself, but he is guided through the jungle, the forest, the sea and the sky by other creatures who show him that he’s not alone, that everyone has a bit of a battle to fight.

Born Bad by C K Smouha spread 2

Eleanor Marton and Stephen Smith have illustrated these stories with bold, dramatic and very funny art-work.

Many thanks to Cicada Books for the review copies.

If you like these books you might also like A Million Dots by Sven Völker, The Inner Child by Henry Blackshaw, Small in the City by Sydney Smith, Night Windows by Aart Jan Venema and Wisp: A Story of Hope by Zana Fraillon and Grahame Baker Smith.


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