A tale of the mystery of the missing sock

Has this ever happened to you?

You wear a pair of socks – sweats, black, athletic, multi-colored, or another variety. You enjoy wearing them. They keep your feet covered and warm. They prevent blisters and capture the sweat on your feet when walking or running. Once you’re done, you ball them up, or not, and toss them into the hamper to be washed. Or maybe they land on the floor. But somewhere in between your feet and the socks reappearing clean, or not, one sock goes missing!

This conundrum was the starting point for children’s author JS Silverstein and his most recent self-published book, “Where in the World is My Other Sock?!”

Get The Jewish Standard Newsletter by email and never miss our top stories Free Sign Up

The missing sock syndrome was something Mr. Silverstein was familiar with.

“When my wife would ask me what I would like for my birthday, I would tell her I would like a dozen pairs of socks,” said Mr. Silverstein, an engineer by training and medical device professional by vocation. “Within six months, most of them are missing.”

Thus, he began exploring the mystery of the missing sock in an imaginative, fantasy-like children’s book that is written in rhyme, colorfully illustrated, charming in its presentation, and brings home many themes for children ages 3 to 8 and adults, alike.

The story centers on its main character, Priscilla Poppins, who can’t seem to find the mate of her one sock. She also has a situation with her room de ella. It is very messy. Her mother de ella exhorts her to clean up her mess and then she might be able to find it and then wear matching socks. And while she is yet to unearth the missing sock, she goes through a dream-like (or is it?) experience that may—or may not—explain the matter.

No spoilers, here, but as Mr. Silverstein explained it, the tale is a layered one with elements of pragmatism, such as a parent’s desire for a child to clean up their room, imagination, dreams, fantasy, play, and even science.

“Sometimes we as individuals wonder if something could be a dream or a memory,” said Mr. Silverstein. “What is real and what is a dream. This touches on an existential question.”

He continued, “It’s a layered story that allows children to recognize practical things like cleaning up their room and parents encouraging their children to clean up their mess, and it allows kids to flex their imagination.”

J. S. Silverstein

In this, Mr. Silverstein’s second children’s book, he turned to the internet and his eldest son, Gabriel, who worked as the executive producer and graphic designer, to bring the story to print (also available on Kindle.)

Begun three years ago, the tale went through 16 iterations before final printing, he said.

Mr. Silverstein had it vetoed by parents, editorial experts, and others. Mr. Silverstein found his illustrators online and hired two Venezuelan sisters, Alegria and Omayra Michael, who created the engaging images to go with the text, then tinkered with by Gabriel, who is degreed in graphic design and UX design.

Mr. Silverstein relied on Amazon to self-publish the book, which is one of its distributors as well.

As a kid growing up in Chicago, Mr. Silverstein, who now lives in California with his family, loved the classic, never-give-up, optimistic tale, “The Little Engine that Could” by Watty Piper.

In addition to writing children’s books, Mr. Silverstein loves telling stories with a message. He hails from a long line of master storytellers including the Baal Shem Tov, and Levi Yitzchok from Bardichov.

As for solving the mystery for himself, has Mr. Silverstein found his own missing socks?

“No,” I quipped. “But I still have hope.”

For more information, https://sockheadsbook.com

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.