Sunday, March 8, 2015

Sophie's Squash by Pat Zietlow Miller illustrated by Anne Wilsdorf

Before you read this book go to the fruit and vegetable shop and buy a squash or a butternut pumpkin.  As you read this book with a young child hold your squash or pumpkin close.  Now get ready to smile.

Sophie visits a farmers' market and she chooses a squash.  Mum and Dad have plans to cook the squash for supper but Sophie has other ideas.  She bounces and cuddles her squash and names her Bernice. She even gives her a face using markers.  "I'm glad we met ... good friends are hard to find."  Sophie whispers to her new friend.

Life goes on and Bernice becomes a natural part of Sophie's life with visits to story time at the library, games in the garden and even a return to the market to visit other squash.  Sadly, though, things do not continue to go smoothly.  The kids at the library say unkind things and Bernice herself begins to fade.  Sophie talks with a farmer at the market and he advises fresh air, good clean dirt and a little love.  At home Sophie makes "a bed of soft soil" and she tucks Bernice in and kisses her goodnight.  Mum and Dad know there is a gap is Sophie's life so they buy her Ace - a goldfish.  After winter Sophie returns to the garden.  Bernice is back - she has a little shoot coming up and by spring "Bernice had grown two tiny squash.  'Wow!; Sophie told them. 'You look just like your mom!"

If you enjoy Sophie's Squash you should also look for Elizabeti's Doll.

Here is a review by Travis Jonker.  Here are some teaching ideas pages. Perhaps you could make yourself a cloth pumpkin.  Take a minute to read the review in Kirkus.  Here is the web site for the author.  I highly recommend Sophie's Squash.  It is a book to enjoy over and over again with a young reader.  You can see inside the book here.

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