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Book Review: Sophie’s Squash By Pat Zietlow Miller, Illustrated By Anne Wilsdorf

Sophie’s parents take her to a farmers’ market to pick some food for dinner.

But on the way home, Sophie discovers that her squash is the perfect size for holding, and hugging, and rocking to sleep. After a quick call for pizza delivery, Sophie’s friendship with her squash begins to blossom.

She takes it outside to play. She rolls down the hill with it. She reads to it. When her parents start to notice a few brown patches on the squash, they try to persuade her to give up the squash for another toy or a pet, (although the father does find a funny silver lining to the dilemma.)

But Sophie loves her squash and refuses to part with it.

When even Sophie starts to note the changes in her squash, she seeks the advice of a local farmer. The farmer tells her that a squash needs fresh air, dirt and love. So Sophie leaves her squash outside in the dirt. That evening snow blankets the town and the squash. After what appears to be an especially long, cold winter (the snow never melts,) Sophie goes out to check on her squash in the spring. She is surprised to learn that her squash has returned her friendship with one last, surprising gift.

Pat Miller tells a “gourd-geous” story of unexpected friendship. Although Sophie’s attachment to her squash takes center stage, the bond between parents and child is evident throughout. Sophie’s parents are nurturing, tolerant, and sensitive to Sophie’s new favorite food even as they try to prepare her for its inevitable end. With humor and compassion, Ms. Miller does an excellent job of capturing the highs and lows of a child’s first steps into forming friendships and coping with loss. There is an especially comforting “cycle of life” message to help young readers understand the loss of a friend.

Anne Wilsdorf brings Sophie’s tale to life with cheery, fall themed watercolors.

With a cartoon style that would be at home in the pages of the New Yorker, Wilsdorf perfectly captures the humor of the story. She gives Sophie slightly unkempt, spunky pig tails that reflect her vibrant personality. Sophie’s parents are big, soft, and rounded like a favorite comfy pillow. Even the end pages are a treat as they display Sophie exhibiting her unbridled joy for her little friend. With such wonderful text and art, Sophie’s Squash is a delicious autumn-themed story that kids are sure to fall for.

Read more book reviews by Brian Rock, a children’s writer, award winning songwriter and blogger for JenningsWire.


JenningsWire.com is created by National Publicist, Annie Jennings of the NYC based PR Firm, Annie Jennings PR.  Annie Jennings PR specializes in marketing books for getting authors booked on radio talk show interviews, TV shows in major online and in high circulation magazines and newspapers. Annie also works with speaker and experts to build up powerful platforms of credibility and influence.