Every child is unique in their own ways, but peer pressure can keep them from feeling comfortable in their own skin. As grown-ups, it’s our job to help kids accept who they are and build healthy self-esteem. One way to do this is through children’s books that promote self-concept and self-esteem.
Manuel’s Socks is an example of such books. It tells the story of a friendly okapi who goes on an adventure to find his lost socks, but instead discovers more about himself along the way.
Are You a Zebra or a Horse?
Manuel the okapi has always been embarrassed by his hooves because they are different. That’s why he wears his brown socks all the time even though he lives in a hot prairie. One day, upon waking up, he realizes that his socks have gone missing and goes out to find them. But on his journey, he finds something else that he’s been missing: the idea that it’s okay to be different after all.
In addition to Manuel’s journey, readers of Manuel’s Socks will also discover several rounds of quizzes that test their comprehension of the story. For example, what did Manuel feel when the Gray Parrot laughs at him? Or who helped Manuel get out of the quicksand? Each question requires the reader to select an answer from a host of choices. At the end of each round, the reader can collect character to play with in the puppet maker.
The puppet maker is a creative section in which the reader can put together parts of the same or different animals to create unique animal hybrids. For example, they can combine the body of a horse with the legs of a crocodile and the wings of a parrot. They can then tap to interact with the finished puppet.
Parents Need to Know
Manuel’s Socks is suitable for ages 3+. It comes with narrated and independent reading modes, as well as two language options: English and Spanish. You can change your preferred language from the Settings menu, which is accessible from the main screen.
The app has no third-party advertising and no in-app purchases. It works well even without an Internet connection, which is always a plus.
Things I Like
Manuel’s Socks is a great story with an even greater message. It tells its readers that it’s okay to be themselves, even if they are not the same as everybody else. Excellent use of analogy and friendly characters ensure that the message is easily understood by the smallest of children.
In addition to teaching kids self-acceptance, Manuel’s Socks helps improve story comprehension through multiple-choice quizzes. The app takes non-readers into account, and provides narration for each question and answer. Unfortunately I found that the audio doesn’t always match the pictures, which I hope to be fixed in future updates.
If you have been looking for books that build self-esteem, you might want to give Manuel’s Socks a try. The story, available in Spanish and English, will be a sure hit with ages 3+ because it’s silly and easy to understand. It could lead to meaningful discussions about body image, self-confidence, and being kind to others. Outside the story, younger kids will enjoy the puppet maker while older kids will benefit from the reading comprehension exercises.
App was provided for our honest review.
Pitruf-Games is a company dedicated to the development of educational applications, with the intention that children learn by playing in a playful and interactive way. You should also check out their other app we’ve reviewed:
Nok-Syllables helps kids with early reading. It offers a set of activities that teach kids to identify syllables and build new words from them. Each activity consists of three levels of progressive difficulty and prizes, with positive reinforcement upon correctly completing each one.