Today I am taking part in the Book Birthday Blitz for Jana’s Brightly Coloured Socks by Sally Fetouh and illustrated by Alexis Schnitger. This children’s picture book was released last year and I am sharing my review. Happy First Book Birthday!
Author Sally Fetouh was inspired to write this touching story by her own daughter who has Down syndrome, feeling it was important for her and other children like her to be able to see themselves in literature. Two years ago, after reading a different story about a girl with Down syndrome to her daughter’s preschool class, Sally says, “The children were so engaged in the story and asked questions. They were very accepting and loving of their friend—my daughter. I left with a heart overflowing with emotion and that inspired me to write my story.”
When young Jana receives heaps of beautiful socks from her parents after learning how to put on socks all by herself, she can’t wait to show her friends at school. They are always kind and patient with Jana when they play together. Jana decides to share a pair of her new socks with each and every friend. This calls for a school sock parade! All of the children had so much fun showing off their colourful socks together that they gave a very special and huge gift for their kind and generous friend, Jana, a box of more socks!
There is cheerful text and whimsical illustrations that bring alive this heart-warming story of kindness and inclusion featuring a character with Down Syndrome.
Jana’s Brightly Coloured Socks
Author: Sally Fetouh
Illustrator: Alexis Schnitger
Published: May 21, 2022
Reviewed By: Jessica
Date Read: May 18, 2023
Jessica’s Rating: 5 stars
Jana’s Brightly Coloured Socks is a colorful picture book aimed at children ages 4 and up and focuses on friendship, kindness, and inclusion! Jana has Down Syndrome and she was able to get her socks on herself! Her parents celebrate this accomplishment and Jana takes socks to all the kids at school. This is a simple yet fun book with the illustrations that enhance the story 1000%! The illustrations are watercolor like for me and could tell the story themselves!
We have lots of inclusion and diversity in the pictures presented. The story along with the pictures really show how that even though we are all different in our own way, but that’s ok! The world would be very boring if we were all the same!
This short children’s book can also teach: The focus in the story is socks and how they are all different. Socks reference the extra chromosome that people with Down Syndrome have. Did you know that Chromosomes look like socks? There is also a hashtag: #lotsofsocks which has a campaign: Lots of Socks.
We need more books like this that both children and adults can enjoy and learn something from!
About the Author:
Writing is very much a part of who author Sally Fetouh is as a human being. As a child, writing was a way for her to express herself and all of the stories and ideas she had in her head. Now, as an adult, she has been inspired to write a beautiful story of kindness and friendship, Jana’s Brightly Coloured Socks, a heart-warming picture book loosely based on her daughter who has Down syndrome.
It was important to Sally that her daughter and other children like her were able to see themselves represented in literature. The idea came to Sally when she visited her daughter’s preschool to read a story about a girl with Down syndrome. The loving, accepting, and inquisitive responses from her daughter’s classmates inspired her to write a story reflecting these caring friendships.
Sally believes a great book is one that has impactful characters and a story that provides a new experience or perspective to the reader that stays with them long after the book is closed. She hopes that her young readers with disabilities or those who are different in some way will be able to relate to the main character and see a little bit of themselves, while also aiming for other readers to gain insight into the world of Down syndrome and the importance and impact of kindness and friendship.
When she isn’t writing thought-provoking children’s books, Sally works as a lawyer and a photographer. She enjoys being in nature, hiking, and horse riding. She lives with her family in Sydney, Australia. Jana’s Brightly Coloured Socks is her debut picture book.