Rocko and Spanky Go to a Party
Author: Kara LaReau; Illustrator: Jenna LaReau
Pages: 40
Publisher/Date: Harcourt/2004
ISBN: 0152166246
Age Levels: 3-7

Book Review

Rocko and Spanky are a couple of sock monkeys—twins, actually. They've been invited to a birthday party so they hop on their yellow motorcycle and zoom on down to the Gift-o-Rama to pick up the perfect gift. Rocko wants to buy something fast, flashy, and fun. Spanky prefers something a bit more glamorous. They finally settle on the perfect compromise: socks. (Which look suspiciously like themselves.) "Socks are so practical," says Spanky. "And SO us," says Rocko.

After deciding what to wear, they arrive to find the party is actually for them. They'd forgotten their own birthdays! Thanks to their friends, they are able to celebrate their special day in style.

The text includes a double-page spread titled "Rocko and Spanky's Wrapper's Delight." Here the pair demonstrate how to wrap presents the Rocko and Spanky way.

This buoyant, fast-paced tale was an instant hit with the first graders to whom we read it. The cartoon illustrations are done in a 50s retro style, complete with period details such as poodle prints, coconut monkeys, and the ever-present pink and green.

A deliciously fun retro-read. Who knew a couple of sock monkeys could be so hip? Highly recommended.

Artist's Disclaimer: "No socks, monkeys, or sock monkeys were harmed during the making of this book. Honest."

Reviewed by the teachers at Education Oasis
©2004 Education Oasis

About the Author

Kara is a children's book editor and lives in Belmont, Massachusetts.

About the Illustrator

Jenna lives in Brighton, Massachusetts, and works as an illustrator and graphic designer. She notes that the artwork for this book was created with "Photoshop, digital photography, acrylic paint, colored pencils, crayons, school glue, construction paper, one pair of Red Heel socks, several handfuls of sequins, glitter, and chi-chi balls, two sets of maracas, gold stars, yarn, rickrack, felt, and one bag of assorted googly eyes."


Read an interview with the author and illustrator.