Garden of Lost Socks by Esi Edugyan

Garden of Lost Socks by Esi Edugyan
Publisher: HarperCollins
Genre: Children’s (0 – 6 y.o.), Contemporary
Rating: 5 Stars
Reviewed by Astilbe

Akosua was always told she was too nosy.

Her parents loved her very much, but she always seemed to find trouble.

“Trouble isn’t what I find!” said Akosua. “I’m an Exquirologist. What I find is lost things.”

This big-hearted picture book debut from one of Canada’s brightest literary stars follows Akosua, a budding Exquirologist, as she finds both a new friend and a remarkable world hidden right in her very own community. Acclaimed artist Amélie Dubois adds a layer of magic to Akosua’s charming adventure with her delicate, compelling illustrations.

Each turn of the page pulls readers deeper into Akosua’s journey, daring them to become Exquirologists too, and encouraging them to seek out magic in the mundane!

Any day can be an adventure if it’s approached the right way.

Losing a sock is disappointing, but it’s not something I’ve seen mentioned in a picture book before from what I can recall. Seeing how the author expanded this into such a multi-layered topic that touched so many different families made me want to read more from her. It takes talent to write something like that, and I thought Ms. Edugyan did an excellent job of exploring how people think about socks, why some socks are so special to certain folks, and what happens to articles of clothing that suddenly disappear.

I loved the friendship that Akosua developed with another character in this story. They were both curious and imaginative kids who loved to explore every inch of their neighborhood and come up with ideas for what to talk about in the letters he sent home to his nana basia. The fact that they were willing to do everything from crawl on the ground to visit the local laundromat to find out what was happening made me smile. What a good team these two were!

Kindness was woven into every scene of this tale. Akosua and her family had clearly moved into a welcoming area, and I enjoyed seeing how all of the adults quietly kept an eye on the children who roamed around the block in search of adventure. Their gentle care was reflected in how the younger members of this community also treated others compassionately. I can’t go into specific details about how this happened, but I can say that it was heartwarming and provided a beautiful ending to something I was already thrilled to read.

Garden of Lost Socks was a cozy and sweet look at city life. I can’t recommend it highly enough.

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