cover image New Socks

New Socks

Bob Shea, . . Little, Brown, $12.99 (40pp) ISBN 978-0-316-01357-4

Slick digital design and silly antics rule the roost in this paper-over-board celebration of footwear, narrated by an excitable young chicken. "Notice anything different about me?" the peep asks. "Nope, it's not my glasses," he adds, pointing the squiggly line of his wing at the heavy black frames around his black-dot eyes. A close-up of his feet reveals two reasons for his apparent delight: "I got New Socks!" Where the chick's yellow body is a double-yolk kidney bean shape, with black sticks for legs and just a hint of chatty beak, his bulbous orange socks look like inflated moon boots, with a star-shaped sparkle on one toe to indicate their pristine condition. The chick skates across a wood floor and, at the playground, calls out, "Watch me not be scared on the big-kids slide! In New Socks!" Graphic designer Shea uses animation techniques akin to Mo Willems, from emphatic first-person statements to iconic illustrations to near-empty backdrops of minimalist white and robin's-egg-blue. This comic sequence holds up as an exercise in dynamic layout, but like its title product, it seems unlikely to seem fresh after repeated use. Ages 3-6. (Apr.)