cover image Lizette's Green Sock

Lizette's Green Sock

Catharina Valckx, . . Clarion, $15 (32pp) ISBN 978-0-618-45298-9

Charming watercolors highlight this sweet if overlong picture book, first published in France. Dutch author/illustrator Valckx outlines her characters with quick strokes of brown, then fills them in with splashes of bright color, giving the book a pleasantly retro feel. Most appealing is Lizette, an orange-beaked, white-feathered bird sporting a blue kerchief, who finds a single sock and promptly puts it on her foot. Tim and Tom, two dastardly-looking cats, spoil her discovery by making fun of her new footwear: "One sock! What a dummy! Where's the other one? Socks come in pairs." Lizette searches for the missing partner to no avail, and returns home, dejected, until her friend Bert (a fellow iconoclast) suggests wearing the sock as a cap. The story probably could have ended there, but Tim and Tom return with the second sock and a chase ensues, with the sock ending up in a delightfully unusual place. With its meandering plot, the book doesn't offer much takeaway for young readers (although children who can't be parted from a special article of clothing will identify with Lizette's devotion to her sock). But Lizette and Bert make a great team, and their determined individuality in the face of the bullying cats strikes just the right note. Ages 4-7. (May)