Author/Illustrator: Dr. Seuss (website)
Publisher: Random House
Format: Hardcover, also available in Paperback
Age Range: Toddler, Preschooler, Early Reader, Pre-teen
Kid Love Factor: 4.5/5
Adult Sanity Factor: 2.5/5
Fox in Socks is probably the most difficult Dr. Seuss book we've ever read. Mr. Fox in Socks tries to impress (and/or irritate) Mr. Knox with word games the latter doesn't want to play until Mr. Knox blows a gasket and outdoes him. It's full of rhyme, alliterations, tongue twisters, and of course Dr. Seuss's clever illustrations.
Through three cheese trees,
three free fleas flew.
While these fleas flew,
freezy breeze blew.
Freezy breeze made these three trees freeze.
Freezy trees made these trees' cheese freeze.
That's what made these
three free fleas sneeze.
The above is my favourite and yes, I've read it often enough to recite it from memory at a pace that makes me look talented. Boo is more fond of the chicks with bricks, blocks, and clocks from the beginning than the sneezing fleas, though the tweedle beetle muddle puddle battles at the end gives them a run for their money.
It's fun. It's fast (once you've read it a few times). It's painfully irritating if it isn't limited it to once or twice a day, but quite tolerable otherwise. Well, tolerable unless I have a massive headache or laryngitis, both of which have happened this past week. Thank you, Boo, for passing on all those fantastic daycare germs!
Boo loves Fox in Socks. It's one of the first books he would ask for by name ("Read Foss n Soss?"), and he loves asking visitors (his grandparents, our friends, unsuspecting door-to-door salespeople) to read it for him. Personally, I love this too as it takes the pressure off me and my husband, yet simultaneously makes us look brilliant when we can recite it faster than they can read it. The six billionth time is the charm, didn't you know?
Autism Spectrum Bonus: This is fantastic for verbal play, both introducing the concept and practicing. I imagine a lot of young (or adult) Aspies would adore it, and it may also draw the interest of less verbal kids with the somewhat frenetic patterns and rhymes. Older kids with good verbal memories might enjoy memorizing the tongue twisters and showing off their mad skillz. It may also help with matching the verbal/written word to the illustrated concept, as the weird and wonderful tongue twisters (Fox in socks on box on Knox; Sue sues hose on Slow Joe Crow's nose) are all drawn out accurately. As Boo is so familiar with the book (due to the aforementioned six billion readings), it's also good for encouraging more vocalizations by pausing and letting him finish a line or page.
Dr. Seuss your book is fun, sir.
My tongue is more than fully numb, sir.
Fox in Socks on Amazon.ca
Fox in Socks on Amazon.com