Beach Lane Books
ages 8 to 12,
grades 3 to 7
order this book
order the e-book:
Kindle or Nook

about the book: reviews

Kirkus Reviews, July 2014 (starred review)
This original, heartwarming and highly amusing tale about lovely, lonely Annaliese is related by Annaliese’s sock monkey, Throckmorton S. Monkey. (The “S.” stands for “Sock.”)

"All of her nine years, Annaliese has lived with her father, her twin brothers, a kind cook and a nasty, fish-smelling maid in a crumbling mansion by the sea. She does not remember her long-gone mother, and her father has forbidden the topic. As the story opens, Annaliese is excited about party invitations that have arrived for her family’s sock monkeys and their keepers. As Annaliese’s father explains to the latest governess: 'Whenever a baby is born into the family, Great-Grandmama Easterling makes a sock monkey.' The old woman herself is hosting the lavish party-cum–family reunion for her 90th birthday on Valentine’s Day, and before the day arrives, Annaliese and Throckmorton suddenly learn more and more secrets about Annaliese’s mother. As the story proceeds unerringly to the tidying of every loose end, readers will enjoy such spectacles as the Grand March of sock monkeys and keepers and the mayhem that follows. Throckmorton’s careful observations of human nature, coupled with his inability to move freely, add a pleasing, fresh dimension.

"This unusual novel is old-fashioned in the best sense of the word, conveying universal truths and values through the use of sentient toys."

The Horn Book, 2015
"Throckmorton S. Monkey (the S stands for 'Sock') charmingly relates the story of his owner, lonely Annaliese, from whom he's separated; her twin brothers; and their sad father. At times this story feels old-fashioned—the family lives in a seaside mansion, the children are tutored by a nanny, and their mother is absent—but overall it's a sweet, often funny, and fresh novel."

School Library Journal, September 2014
"Beha's concept is interesting and the sentient monkey's observations of life around Eastcliff manor are charming."

Publisher's Weekly, September 29, 2014
Beha's (Tango: The Tale of an Island Dog) humorous story with a gothic setting stars a family of stuffed sock monkeys who may not speak to their human "keepers," but have many thoughts and emotions nevertheless....Throckmorton's sweet contemplations about friendship and loyalty—mixed with some honest reflections about abandonment—will have many readers dusting off their own favorite stuffed pals."

"Centered around a rich, eccentric elder and the stuffed animals she created for her descendants, Beha's well-paced debut often seems like a throwback to children's books written decades ago. Set in a remote seaside home in Maine where the children are tutored, the story is made even more quaint by its narration, particularly attuned to the tender feelings of a hand-sewn sock monkey."

Website copyright 2009- Eileen Beha. All rights reserved. Site designed by Winding Oak. Portrait photo by Katherine Warde.
Photos and text on this website may not be re-used electronically or in print without permission.