Sophie’s Squash by Pat Zietlow Miller
Posted by: Cindy Dobrez and Lynn Rutan
Lynn: My husband wonders why I was laughing hysterically at the farmer’s market this morning but it is all the fault of Pat Zietlow Miller and Sophie’s Squash (Random/Schwartz & Wade 2013)! Talk about a fall classic in the making!
Sophie and her parents go to market where Sophie picks out a lovely winter squash. Her parents plan to eat it for dinner but Sophie has other ideas! The squash is just the right size for Sophie to hold in her arms. Sophie names the squash Bernice and knows she has found a friend. Sophie’s mom takes one look at Sophie and orders pizza for dinner and soon Bernice goes everywhere with Sophie. Her parents try to work in a substitute but Sophie isn’t having any of that but soon Bernice begins to get soft and look distinctly blotchy! Sophie does some primary source research and decides to give Bernice “fresh air, good clean dirt and a little love that she needs” by tucking Bernice into the ground for a long nap in her favorite spot outside Sophie’s window. The result is a conclusion that will have everyone smiling – and maybe wanting their own Bernice!
Anne Wildsdorf’s sweetly comic illustrations are as endearing as they are funny and they are an ideal partner to this humorous story. Parents everywhere will recognize Sophie’s obsession with her favorite toy even if it is a squash and the solution to the dilemma is very comforting. Use this as a lap book with a preschooler or as a great introduction to the life cycle of plants in a primary classroom. Me – I’m thinking of lots of yummy recipes for fixing squash. Sorry, Bernice!
Cindy: The day I read this I had returned home from the grocery store with two acorn squash and a big Hubbard squash and I was tempted to draw faces on them. In fact, a woman stopped me in the store and asked if I was decorating with the Hubbard or eating it and then asked for directions on how to cook them! Fern had her pig and Sophie has her squash. And it is Some Squash! Bernice endures a lot and always with a smile, but even she has weak spots. I love how Sophie’s erect pig tails are echoed by her squash’s stem. This is a story that is just made for sharing, just like big family meals that feature squash. Add this to your fall story hours and then hit the Random House activity page for this book and have the children make their own Fall Friend.