Reading Together

Storybook Guide Based on P.J. Roberts’ “I Lost My Sock! A Matching Mystery”

Explore math while reading and talking about this storybook.


Activity Summary

Use this storybook guide with the book “I Lost My Sock! A Matching Mystery.”
Many public libraries have this book.

Reading guide

About the Story

After losing a sock, Fox enlists the help of his friend Ox to find it. Ox produces sock after sock, but none seems to match Fox’s missing sock. One sock is not the right color; another is not the right size. In the end, Ox reveals his new “hat,” which turns out to be the missing sock! After seeing how much Ox loves the “hat,” Fox decides to let Ox keep it. Children will enjoy helping Fox and Ox solve the mystery of the missing sock.

Words to Learn

small, big, little, top, bottom, in, on

round, dot, hexagon, semicircle, circle, rectangle, triangle, kite


About the Math

This story presents ideas about shapes, spatial relations, and matching. While reading the story, your child can learn:

  • To use spatial words to describe the socks: Some socks have big dots and some have small dots. Ox keeps oranges in the bottom of the sock.
  • To match objects based on their features: While many objects are similar to Fox’s sock, your child can find differences showing why the two objects do not match.
  • To find shapes in the pictures that are not named in the text: Fox has two triangle ears, a triangle body, and a kite-shaped tail, while Ox is made of a semicircle, a rectangle, a circle, and some curved shapes.

Math Talk During Reading

    “I see some shapes on this page! What shape is Fox’s head? Fox’s ears? What shape is Ox’s face? His mouth? His tail?”
    “How are the hexagon and triangle similar? How are they different?” “What about the socks? Which of them is bigger?”
    “I notice that this sock has small blue dots and this sock has big blue dots. Does this sock match Fox’s sock? How are they similar and how are they different?”

Try to come up with some of your own questions and comments, too!

Activity After Reading

    Make a big pile of socks. Have your child sort the socks into categories in different ways. For example, you can make one pile of big socks and one group of small socks. Then you can sort the socks again and make one pile of striped socks and one pile of socks without stripes.
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