What does the Sock Monster really look like?

Anyone who wears socks ought to know about the Sock Monster. For me there is simply no other explanation for the disappearance of countless single socks in my household. But what does the Sock Monster actually look like, and when does he get the opportunity to steal our socks? UK based author / illustrator Lorna Fretag has created a delightful insight into the world of the Sock Monster through her interactive iPad storybook app aimed at 2-5 yr olds, titled My Sock Monster.

10 interactive pages comprise this eBook, which is a great length for a pre-bedtime read. The story begins by introducing the Sock Monster and the various sites around the house he accesses clean socks to gobble. Every time the monster eats a sock, his fur changes to the colour and pattern of the sock, a feature much loved by my colour-obsessed 4 year old. The story then poses the question, what would happen to the Sock Monster if the socks ran out? Does he simply fade away, or does someone come to his rescue?

My absolute favourite part of this review was watching my 2 yr old imitate the monster. Every gobble, giggle and raspberry noise was copied, in-between bouncing about and squealing with delight. It was truly magical to watch. My son also displayed great empathy when the socks ran out and the monster became sad and hungry. Imitating the monster helped my kids become more immersed in the story than I believe they would have reading a printed book. Cute noises are definitely a big hit with my children, something that an eBook or storybook app can achieve over and above a regular picture book. (Unless you have an expert storyteller in your family.)

The ability to choose the option of “read to me” or “read myself” is a great feature, extending the use of this app to slightly older children who can read for themselves. I personally love the charming Scottish accent of the child narrator however and would be highly unlikely to switch her off.

There are no advertisements or in-app purchases. This is a great app to use as an introduction for young children to the iPad. Simple tap once gestures control the interactive features and are easily understood by little tappers. Although not yet available, I think it would be great if this were a universal app for iPhones an iPods as well. I would love to be able to pull the Sock Monster out of my pocket in a doctor’s waiting room or other such distraction emergency.

For me, the story ending was a little underwhelming. But for the 2 yr old master of our household, the stinky socks page could not be surpassed. Finishing the story was not high on his agenda, he would have been happy to play with the smelly socks all day!

Price: $6.49 NZD… Yes, I too have been wrestling with the price of apps in the children’s ebook category. When you consider the costs associated with professional editing however, and the fact that the printed version (soon to be released) is unlikely to be less than $15, iPad adaptations of quality picture books like this one can be worth the investment.

Disclosure: I was provided with a free promo code to download this app for review. All comments and opinions are (as always) my own.

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