The first picture book in a series, Raine’s Rainbow Socks: Book tells the story of a young girl who gets a set of socks that can help her solve “mysteries.”
At Raine’s birthday party, her grandfather gives her seven pairs of socks in the colors of the rainbow. He tells Raine that when she confronts a mystery, wearing the socks will help solve it.
Young Raine uses her first pair when her comic book is delivered to the wrong house. She discovers that this happened because the wrong address was used and is able to ask her mother to correct the problem. Raine uses her second pair when her mother forgets to close a bottle of pills and Raine’s baby brother swallows them. This time, Raine goes back in time and throws out the pills instead, saving the day.
Billed as a story that can both teach children the colors of the rainbow and “how to do the right thing,” Raine’s Rainbow Socks doesn’t truly do either. Because the book only documents two colors—red and orange —color literacy can’t come from this book alone. More importantly, however, Raine’s socks seem to teach children that the way to “solve” mysteries is to rely on magic. Worse, the second scenario suggests that one way to tackle problems is to go back in time to change the outcome. Neither option helps children become more thoughtful problem solvers.
Additionally, the scenario that introduces time travel takes the story in a direction the author isn’t really prepared to explore, as the implications of time travel are likely to be beyond the comprehension of her young audience.
Though conceptually unique, Raine’s Rainbow Socks never gives its heroine the tools to make mistakes and propose solutions that can serve children. Ultimately, this absence hampers the success of Raine’s story.
Also available as an ebook.