Friday, January 23, 2009

Cece Bell: Sock Monkey Maven

One of the benefits of being married to an elementary school teacher is that our house is a veritable library of children's books. They didn't all come from my wife. Her mom, also an elementary school teacher, gave Stacy all of the children's books she had amassed over the years when she retired. So while many folks starting out with their fist kid are building a book collection from scratch, we're already way ahead of the game.

That's not to say I'm not always on the hunt for awesome kid books. After all, we have most of the kids' book staples: The Very Hungry Caterpillar, Goodnight Moon, The Giving Tree, etc. What we don't have enough of, and could never have enough of, are books about monkeys. Obviously.

So I was thrilled to get Cece Bell's Sock Monkey Goes to Hollywood: A Star Is Bathed the other day. It is fantastic. It's funny, has great art, is fun to read out loud (I read it to my wife and, by extension, our child who missed all of the great pictures because he or she is sequestered inside my-wife-the-incubator), and is totally pro-bathing! The basic plot centers around Sock Monkey, a movie star who hasn't ever taken a bath. It's not that he's gross, it's just that bathing freaks him out. But then he's nominated for the toy-world equivalent of an Academy Award and he has to clean up for the ceremony. His adorable friends (a bunny, a pig and a frog) help him overcome his fear of soap and water and the whole toy world celebrates.

Cece Bell has several other Sock Monkey books. Needless to say, I must have them. Check out her books (some of which are not about Sock Monkey) and other cool Sock Monkey stuff (games! Instructional videos! A fanclub!) at

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