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Fantastical Children’s Book Explains Disappearing Socks

Kylie Ora Lobell is a writer for the Jewish Journal of Los Angeles, The Forward, Tablet Magazine, Aish, and Chabad.org and the author of the first children’s book for the children of Jewish converts, “Jewish Just Like You.”

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Kylie Ora Lobell
Kylie Ora Lobell is a writer for the Jewish Journal of Los Angeles, The Forward, Tablet Magazine, Aish, and Chabad.org and the author of the first children’s book for the children of Jewish converts, “Jewish Just Like You.”

At some point in all our lives, we lose a sock. It usually happens when we do the laundry. A sock gets lost in the washer or dryer, or falls behind the machines perhaps. Maybe we don’t put our laundry away, and our socks get lost in the mess. It drives some of us crazy, because now our socks are going to be mismatched. 

This everyday problem was the inspiration for J.S. Silverstein’s new children’s book, “Where in the World Is My Other Sock?!” The book follows Priscilla Poppins, a little girl who keeps losing her socks. 

“[I wasn’t] able to find the other matching sock nearly every day when I was dressing,” said Silverstein, who lives in Los Angeles with his family. “But even in my early morning blur, I realized it was a regular occurrence. When I spoke of this to friends and colleagues, I discovered it was nearly universal. So I decided to write a whimsical story, and chose a children’s book as the vehicle.”

“I decided to write a whimsical story, and chose a children’s book as the vehicle.”
– J.S. Silverstein

In the book, it turns out that little creatures called Sockheads are stealing Priscilla’s socks and wearing them on, well, their heads. The moral of the story – which is told in rhymes – is to always clean your room, or else the Sockheads will steal your socks. 

“So later that night, while lying in bed, the Sockheads appeared, and here’s what they said: ‘We go searching for messes, all over the place. From inside your house, to deep outer space!’” the book reads. 

In the end, Priscilla learns, “Now I know that those guys will come back here again. So I’ll clean up my mess, that’s where I’ll begin!” 

In real life, misplacing socks is not some great adventure for Silverstein. “I frequently lose my socks, but I am only apprised of a loss when just one is missing,” he said. “When both members of a pair are lost, I have no way of knowing. I once tried using only one-colored socks, but that was so boring.”

However, with his book, he’s elevating a mundane occurrence that happens to all of us.

“Children’s books allow for fantastical narratives,” he said. “I let my imagination run free, and this book came out.”

“Where in the World Is My Other Sock?!” is Silverstein’s second children’s book. His first was called “Sara n’ Dippity” and was about a little girl named Sara meets a hapless young duck named Dippity, and together, they fulfill a purpose greater than themselves.  

Silverstein worked with his two sons on his book for over two years. He was inspired by other popular children’s books when coming up with his own story.

“‘Mike Mulligan’s Steam Shovel,’” and ‘The Little Engine That Could’ are both early inspirations,” he said. “They offer insights into finding resolutions with a positive outlook.”

Interestingly, Silverstein is in fact related to another popular author named Silverstein. “But more significantly, I am a direct descendant of two Chassidic masters, both of whom were famous storytellers: the Baal Shem Tov, and Rabbi Levi from Berdichev,” he said. 

“Where in the World Is My Other Sock?!” is available in paperback and as an e-book. With his second book, Silverstein hopes that he will spark the imagination of his readers, both children and adults alike.  

“Children love to stretch their imaginations, even more than adults, the latter of whom have become accustomed to a more rigid reality,” he said. “Pushing the limits of reality into fantasy, with a few comedic sprinkles, serves to tickle the imagination and hopefully inspire the younger audience – along with their parents – to more frequently employ their own.” 

You can purchase “Where in the World Is My Other Sock?!” on Amazon.

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