cover image Oscar: The Big Adventure of a Little Sock Monkey

Oscar: The Big Adventure of a Little Sock Monkey

Amy Schwartz, Leonard S. Marcus, , illus. by Schwartz. . HarperCollins/Tegen, $16.99 (32pp) ISBN 978-0-06-072622-5

A husband-and-wife team spins a tale about a sock monkey caught up in a series of adventures while trying to help a friend. Readers young and old will appreciate the narrative's wry tone: "Now, Susie was a fine girl, but a bit forgetful." Oscar is more than just a stuffed toy: "He kept track of Susie's barrettes. He freshened Cottontail's water when Susie forgot. And he pulled up her blankets at night." It is no wonder then that the level-headed Oscar is destined to deliver the lost key to Cottontail's cage in time for Susie's school pet show presentation. But before readers can assign to the stuffed hero an "all work and no play" attitude, Oscar gets sidetracked by a number of distractions. Schwartz's (What James Likes Best ) whimsical drawings depict a modern-day world where people go about their business, oblivious to Oscar. When he lands inside a jacket pocket, the active cityscape goes black, narrowing the scope and forcing readers—and Oscar—to regain focus. With an eventual fait accompli, the plush hero, "one ounce of cotton happiness" has a smile on his face once again. So too will readers of this charming story with a satisfying ending. Ages 3-7. (June)