The Dirty Socks of Science

  by  |  December 19th, 2008  |  Published in All, Blog, Products

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Looking for some last minute fun books for gifts or for vacation reading? I have to share my five year old son’s latest book obsession: Nancy McArthur’s The Plant That Ate Dirty Socks. There are 9 books in the series and we are about half way through.


The premise is that messy Michael and neat Norman are two brothers who started growing mysterious seeds. They share a room in which Michael was always leaving things all over the floor and Norman and their mom complained. But then, dirty socks started disappearing. In the middle of the night, the boys started hearing strange noises – a schlurp, followed by a burp. As you already know from the title, it was the plant that ate the dirty socks. What you might now guess is that in order to keep the plants, messy Michael kept his side of the room neat. But what you don’t know is that the plants are about as intelligent and adventurous as kittens. And I won’t tell you all the things they do to get into trouble.

As a parent, I can tell you that these chapter books, which second graders may be able to read on their own (I read them to my son), slip in enough science to make them a guilt free pleasure. But the adventures and characters are what entertain my son. McArthur uses literary devices – like obvious misdirections – in ways that make a kid feel smart. I highly recommend this series.


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