If you are familiar with Socks by Nick Sharratt and Elizabeth Lindsay (Random House) you will also be familiar with the term “Bloomin’ Doodles!” If you are familiar with Milo, you will also know that this is also one of Milo’s favourite sayings at the moment. He says it a LOT. Especially when he drops things or knocks things or breaks things. It’s pretty funny! It took Milo’s dad and I a good while to work out where he’d got the phrase from and we were baffled with his use of it until a re-reading of Socks reminded us!
I should mention here that you could be in with a chance of getting your hands on an original illustration by Nick Sharratt so keep reading to the end of this post if you’d like this on your wall.
You do, don’t you. So do I.
We like this book in this house very, very much. It’s choc full of silliness, rhyme and language play. Like Octopus Soctopus and Elephant Wellyphant (another firm favourite in this house), this is so much fun to read aloud and Nick Sharratt’s trademark, gorgeously bright illustrations just bring the daftness to life. The world in this book is created by socks. You have Goldisocks, socksophones, a hipposockomus, socktown and numerous other delights. Silly fun that cracks Milo up every read, and we love picking out our favourite socks from the endpages. Endpages people, they really are such a great opportunity to extend the book.
I love the inscription in the front of the book too:
“The refrain in this book was inspired by the wonderfully named Choccywoccydoodah, a chocolaterie in Brighton”
I’ve never been there but I seriously want to having taken a look at their website and seeing their little TV show for the first time last night. It’s pretty impressive what these guys can do with chocolate.
Onto our bake. I asked Milo what he’d like to bake for this Bookish Bites, sock cookies or cake. He went with cake. Good choice. We had Milo’s Auntie Claire coming round for a visit so we wanted to make something socktacular for her. Because we had a busy Saturday morning planned, I got a little prepared by baking the giant victoria sponge traybake in advance.
And I mean giant. We wanted to get at last four pairs of socks out of our cake so eight eggs, 400g self raising flour, 400g butter, 400g caster sugar and several drops of vanilla extract later we had our starting point.
Of course you don’t need to make such a big traybake. You could get a couple of pairs of socks out of a 9x9inch square cake tin. Once the sponge was made I cut out our sock shapes in different shapes and sizes.
I also prepared early by making a few decorations for our finished cakes. This is always a good way to spend an hour with feet up on a Friday night (while your other half cleans the bathroom!)
Milo’s dad and Milo read Socks together before we got cracking with the icing and decorating. In case you didn’t know this about Nick Sharratt, he is a big fan of socks, all kinds, especially brightly coloured ones. Did you watch The Biggest Show on Earth for World Book Day? If you didn’t, it’s still available to watch over on the World Book Day site and approximately an hour and a bit (well, 1.16 mins to be exact) into the primary event, Nick discusses his love of socks with Jacqueline Wilson. When they first met in Jacqueline’s publisher’s office 21 years ago (can you believe that!) Nick was wearing bright canary yellow socks. Fabulous! On the World Book Day live stream Nick also draws some fantastic pictures from Socks (the book!). Well worth taking a look at.
In honour of Nick Sharratt’s own love of socks we all decided to celebrate our fun day by wearing our favourite pairs of socks! Milo likes these ones because they are blue and red stripes and have blue bits on. Milo’s dad likes his socks because they are orange and black striped and orange is his favourite colour. These are my favourites because they are Milo’s dad’s socks and for some reason that makes them more comfortable.
Milo likes to pull his socks right up to his knees just like his granddad does. It keeps your shins warm. Like this see.
Onto the icing. Milo and I made fondant icing in three different colours, lilac, pink and blue. I let Milo pour the icing over the cakes. Or just dunk the socks into the icing (his preferred method).
I’m pretty sure that most of the icing ran down the sides of the cake onto the baking parchment under our wire rack. It was a bit gloopy!
Next we moved onto decorating and readied the edible glitter. We each took a pair of socks to decorate and then went to town. Milo wanted to share his pair with Auntie Claire later so he sprinkled lots of green glitter over hers as its her favourite colour and put on lots of green leaves.
And then they were finished. Brilliant!
A short while later, Auntie Claire came round and showed us her favourite pair of socks. Her weekend socks (because she has to wear boring black ones at work throughout the week). They are her favourites because they have penguins on and were a pressie from her sister (Milo’s Auntie Gina!).
Milo gobbling his sock. His verdict: “I like to eat the socks and I will have all the decorations won’t I? I will, won’t I?”
So, earlier, somewhere around the top of this post, I mentioned that you yourself could grab your very own original Socks illustration drawn and signed by Nick Sharratt as part of Book Aid International’s Silent Scribble. All you have to do is email the lovely Emily at firstname.lastname@example.org or give her a ring on 020 7733 3577 to place your bid. The highest bid will win the “scribble”. Here it is:
I feel slightly loathed in giving you all this information as I’ve already bid on this particular lot and I really want it. BUT Book Aid International are fantastic, they do fantastic work and so I will not be disappointed in the slightest (well, maybe a touch), if one of you lot outbids me. Go on, go for it. Deadline for bids in April 30th.
What socks are you wearing today? Either way, I hope you have a socktastic, sockywockydoodah day!