A couple months ago, my sister's brother-in-law contacted me about a book his colleague wrote titled The Sneaky Red Sock.
Ali Murdoch is the creative mind behind this eclectic collection of poems. Murdoch's sense of humor permeates everything he pens, including his Amazon Author Central author blurb:
Ali Murdoch is an entrepreneur turned author, who had to rely on the business route when his sporting career was cut tragically short by a lack of any real talent. The father of three very troublesome children he lives on Long Island, New York and does his best to keep control by threatening to recite poems at night unless they go to bed. It even works some of the time!
What I loved about this book:
Murdoch's clever prose reminds me of Shel Silverstein's work. Like Silverstein, Murdoch crafts poems with a wonderful melodic quality and canny humor.
Every poem illustrates the sharp, witty way Murdoch perceives the world around him. This book is full of smart plays on words and observant imagery that brought a smile to my face again and again.
The comic drawings by illustrator Simon Goodway were brilliant and heightened the humor of each piece.
The website Murdoch created to promote his book is wonderful! Check it out here --> www.sneakyredsock.com
Here's an example I loved from the book:
by Ali Murdoch, The Sneaky Red Sock, page 24
I was given a quiz, which I think I've solved
To explain the difference between Committed and Involved.
I was eating my breakfast, when the analogy fitted,
The hen was involved, but the Pig was committed.
This book is self-published -- which I think is fantastic!! However, a publisher may have cautioned against a couple things, such as:
The Sneaky Red Sock looks like its target audience is children. The cover art is bright and cartoon-ish, something I would expect to see shelved in the children's book section. And, the back cover blurb begins with, Welcome to a world where booby traps are successfully sprung, ghosts frighten teddy bears, and sneaky red socks turn everything in your washer a nice salmon color. -- All this suggests to me that it is appropriate for children.
And in fact, many of the poems are. But many aren't. In the back blurb's second paragraph, Murdoch says, Misbehaving children and even grandparents' rowdy parties are all dissected with a moral scalpel... -- I think a traditional publisher would have taken greater care to market this book to one intended audience.
Also, a publisher would have used a professional editor who would have found and fixed the mechanical issues throughout the book, starting perhaps with the punctuation typo on the back cover: This eclectic mix of poems, cartoons and ditties brings you face to face with the US Army's most secretive of weapons, "the Bunny Blaster" and their all new "Think Tank".
Above all else, though, Murdoch's wonderful sense of humor captures your attention and keeps you turning the pages to see what ingenious and entertaining observations of life's absurdities he tackles next. The Sneaky Red Sock truly has something for every member of the family to enjoy, though adults should pick out those their younger children will most appreciate.
I have THREE signed copies of The Sneaky Red Sock to share with you! To add your name to the drawing I'll hold on Monday, May 23rd simply leave me a comment on this post!
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