1 out of 4 stars
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Santa’s Socks have been tossed unceremoniously into the trash for being BOW (“a bit old and worn”). Their initial heartbreak turns into determination as they decide that, in order to be with Santa once more, they need to find the color red to restore them to their original colors. On their journey, they talk to Santa’s Suit, Candy Cane, and Christmas Tree, among others. Will they restore themselves to their former glory? Will they be reunited with Santa? Will Mrs. Claus accept them?
Dr. Crystal Williamson’s children’s book, Dr. Crystal’s Santa’s Socks: Do The BOW Thing, aims to teach the reader to be accepting of others, regardless of their age or the color of their skin. While the message is a good one, I think the delivery could have been a little better.
One of the characters is said to have learned this important message; however, they never say anything that suggests they’ve actually learned it. We’re just merely told by someone else that they did, while the character smiles and gives a thumbs up in the background. I think it would have been more meaningful if the reformed character had a chance to speak after they realized the error of their ways. At the least, I think there should have been an apology.
I like that the book explains how someone feels when they've been discarded. It shows BOW going to extreme lengths to try and be what others want them to be so that they will be accepted and loved. Children who have been in a situation where they've felt discarded would easily empathize with BOW. Ideally, children who have excluded others might be able to learn something as well.
The cartoonish illustrations by Denis Proulx are cute and vibrant. Each page features a full-page illustration with text on top of it. Unfortunately, I had a lot of difficulty getting through the book due to its uneven rhythm, forced rhymes, grammar errors, and inconsistencies.
I had quite a few issues with the rhymes. The rhyming scheme could change from one page to the next, sometimes even on the same page. For example, on pg. 18 the rhyming scheme is ABCAA DEFGE. A uniform rhyming scheme would have been so much better for the rhythm and flow. These abrupt changes coupled with several missing line breaks makes it difficult to comprehend the writing on the first read. On some pages, such as page 24, line breaks aren’t used at all.
This 48-page book needs a heavy round of editing. In addition to the missing line breaks, there are absolutely no quotation marks used. There’s quite a bit of dialogue, and more often than not, the speaker will abruptly change without any kind of indication. Finally, there’s a lack of consistency when it comes to whether or not BOW is one character or two. “We have a worry on our head. And do you think you can help me please?”
Overall, I have to give this book 1 out of 4 stars. As it is, I wouldn’t recommend this book to anyone. After extensive editing, I would recommend it to 3- to 7-year-old children, especially those who have dealt with prejudice or being excluded. I’d also recommend it to parents who want to teach their children about empathy and acceptance.
Dr.Crystal’s Santa’s Socks
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