Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

Sock Monkey and Friends

Sock Monkey and Friends

Samantha Fisher
Illustrator:  Cary Lane 
Photographer: Carlo Silvio
Novelty Craft Kit
For ages 9 and up
Chronicle Books, 2010   ISBN: 978-0811871204

Around 1932, during the Great Depression, mothers began to make stuffed animals for their children out of red-heeled work socks. Often they made monkeys out of the socks, using the red heel to create a mouth for the monkey. Of course, in time, a company began to make sock monkeys, and since then thousands of children have cuddled and played with the much-loved toys.

Now there is a new sock money in the sock monkey family tree. Her name is Finnoola Peach, and like all sock monkeys, she is made out of socks, as are her eight close friends. Actually, two of her friends are made out of one sock – which is very handy for those of us who have those orphan socks floating around in our sock drawer.

The book in this wonderful kit shows young (and not so young) sock money fans how to make sock animals of their own. In addition to the book, the kit includes two socks, two buttons, and “sock monkey fluff” so that young crafters can make Finnoola Peach for themselves.

At the beginning of the book, there is a general introduction about Finnoola and her friends. Then the author talks about what supplies are needed, and she also shows crafters the basics of sewing, just in case they have never done any sewing before.

After this, the project instructions begin. Crafters can make Finnoola the monkey, and then they can go on to make an owl, a rabbit, an elephant, a crocodile, a pig, a squirrel, a cat, and a bear. For each animal, the author gives crafters detailed instructions on what to do, and there are illustrations throughout the book to help readers see what is required. Some of the animals are easy to make, and some are more complicated.

This kit would make an excellent gift for a crafter who likes stuffed animals. Bring out those old socks and have some fun!