A tribe of previously undiscovered creatures living in the heart of the Lake District have made their way into print in three books aimed at 4 – 9 year olds.
The Odd Soks, from different families and different species, are linked by their brightly coloured odd soks that they wear and the adventures that they find themselves in. The Elms – Rufus with his red hair and fiery personality, grumpy Mosscrop with his green hair shaped like a freshly cut haystack and Bud. Then there are the Paddlers from the streams and the Lowbs who live in the barns – Little Lowb constantly looking out for the good of his Odd Sok friends and family.
The adventures take place in locations that will be familiar to many readers and known by visitors to the area – Lake Windermere, Ambleside, Stockghyll, Grasmere and feature the Lake District’s waterfalls, lakes, mountains and wildlife. Each of the three books is packed with pastel illustrations of the colourful characters.
Steve Crichley, the author and illustrator was a commercial visualiser by trade. He studied at Bolton Art College and was influenced by his Uncle Eric who used to draw for the classic children’s show Jackanory and illustrate books written by Sarah Churchill, daughter of Winston Churchill.
In the 1989 recession, Steve found his work had dried up. Rather than waiting idly for business to pick up, he combined his love of the Lake District and his artistic ability and created The Lakeland Odd Soks. When work picked up through the 90’s, the Odd Soks sat quietly under his bed, apart from featuring occasionally in cartoon strips in a local paper.
Two of Steve’s sons, Eric and Jake, picked up the cause of the Odd Soks last year, setting up a publishing company in order to get them to market. “The initial response has been fantastic,” said Jake. “The books are now in 14 different bookshops and selling really well and we’ve had plenty of interest including an appearance on regional TV.”
They can also be found on sale to our younger visitors at the Reception desk of Low Wood Bay.
Books available at £6.99 each:
Little Lowb and Baby Owl
Odd Soks to the Rescue
The Elms and the Lost Crown