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Northport Author Teaches History with Help from the Spin Cycle

Lost socks travel through time to witness some of the country's most important moments in the children's book series, "The Sockkids."

Author Michael John Sullivan is teaching children history through his book series, "The Sockkids."
Author Michael John Sullivan is teaching children history through his book series, "The Sockkids."

Where do missing socks go when they enter the washing machine? 

That was the question Northport resident Michael John Sullivan and his two daughters were joking about five years ago during an August family barbecue, when an idea struck – maybe they go time traveling, he thought. From there, the SockKids, a children’s book series about a family of time-traveling lost socks, was born.

The SockKids, who belong to the Socker family, don’t just go back in time though; they also end up on the feet of some very important people, including Abraham Lincoln and George Washington, to learn the journeys of America’s founding fathers. 

Sullivan has previously published two books including “Necessary Heartbreak: A Novel of Faith and Forgivenes,” based on a brief struggle with homelessness at the age of 23 after his mother died, and a fiction book, “Everybody’s Daughter.” The Sockkids series, which he co-authored with Susan Petrone, is Sullivan’s first soirée into children’s literature and it’s already receiving high praise among parents, who enjoy the whimsical, but educational storylines. 

The first book is titled, “The Sockkids Meet Lincoln,” in which the socks are worn on the 16th president’s feet as he delivers the Gettysburg Address.

“I don’t bash people over the head with messages. This gives parents the ability to talk to their children about history and presidents and understand why they’re important,” he said. 

The Sockkids have typical family adventures too, including encountering the slobbery mouth of the family dog to meeting Santa as he comes down the chimney on Christmas Eve, to helping a fireman save a baby and the most shy Socker going to the school dance for the first time, he said.

The first book in the series is available through Amazon.com in both print and e-book form. An animated video was also made for the book. The second book, “The Sockkids Go Dancing,” is available in e-book form.

No matter what the adventure, the Socker family has important lessons to teach: “Don’t be afraid of new experiences, treat others as you would like to be treated, and of course, beware of the spin cycle,” Sullivan emphasizes on his website.

More books in the series will be making their way to the shelves, including, one in which the Sockkids will learn about electricity with Ben Franklin.

Sullivan isn't just sticking to printed books though. As more children are exposed to reading through electronic devices, the authors are also working to create animations, theme songs and other elements to bring the Sockkids to life.

Misty Taggart, who worked under William Hanna and contributed a dozen episodes to the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles series, agreed to take on the first animation project for The SockKids. The authors are also now being represented by Curtis Literary Associates.

To learn more about the Sockkids and their adventures, visit http://thesockkids.wordpress.com.

JMolinet December 02, 2013 at 04:19 PM
Excellent concept!
Michael John Sullivan December 02, 2013 at 04:31 PM
Thanks so much!

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