Thursday, March 23, 2017

Sophie's Squash

Oh, how we adore this book! A spunky, creative, female main character....tender parents....a heart-tugging ending....fabulous illustrations. Combined, they deliver a story that we have read over and over and over again:

The premise of Sophie's Squash (written by Pat Zeitlow Miller and illustrated by Anne Wilsdorf; Schwartz & Wade, 2013) is incredibly unique: Sophie helps her parents select a squash -- intended for dinner -- from the farmer's market. But as Sophie cradles the squash in her arms, she realizes it is just the right size to love. No turning back, Sophie gives the squash a face and names her Bernice, and Sophie's mother has to make alternate plans for dinner.

As the days pass, Bernice goes everywhere with Sophie, but she starts to get a little soft and blotchy. Her parents warn her that Bernice will soon rot, and they suggest ways to use Bernice before it's too late.

Sophie won't hear of it and, instead, asks a farmer for advice on how to keep squash healthy. She follows his words of wisdom, and in the spring is met with a completely wonderful surprise!

Miller has created a delightful character in Sophie. She is strong and feisty and loyal and so very lovable. But the parents, while minor characters, also play an important role in the heart of the story. Always referring to Sophie in some sweet, foodish way ("Sweet pea," says her mom; "Sugar beet," says her dad), they handle Sophie's odd but completely all-in devotion to Bernice with gentleness and understanding. It is so sweet.

And the ending Miller created? Absolutely perfect!

The story is further heightened by Wilsdorf's sweet, detailed illustrations. With watercolor and ink, they show Sophie's big personality, her childlike room, her mom's fabulous fashion sense, and the tender moments between Sophie, her parents, and Bernice.

This book is an all-around winner. It's one of those books that I wish I had written and would love to emulate in terms of character, pacing, and heart. We just love it.

And for more of Sophie, check out Sophie's Squash Go To School. We've read that one just as much. ;)

Happy reading!


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