Review: Sophie’s Squash by Pat Zietlow Miller

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Sophie’s Squash by Pat Zietlow Miller and Anne Wilsdorf

Released August 6, 2013

When Sophie and her family go to the farmer’s market, Sophie helps pick out a lovely squash.  However, it is not a squash that she wants to eat!  Instead she names it Bernice and takes it everywhere with her.  Her parents offer to cook Bernice so that she won’t rot, but Sophie is scandalized.  Soon though, Bernice is starting to show her age with “freckles” on her skin.  So Sophie heads back to the farmer’s market to ask how to help Bernice not rot.  The farmer suggests, “Fresh air.  Good, clean dirt.  A little love.”  Sophie heads home and plants Bernice in the garden, tucking her into that good dirt.  That night, the snow starts to fall and Sophie has to be very patient.  Her parents get her a fish to keep her company, but he’s not as interesting as Bernice.  With spring come some surprises that will delight and satisfy.

This picture book does not read like a debut book, instead having a confident tone and a quirky premise of more veteran authors.  The story is completely satisfying, offering a conclusion that brings the book full circle and along the way plenty of squash bonding time.  So many children bond with objects in their childhood that this will speak to many children.  Both the humor of it being a squash and the seasonal nature of the story make this a joyful pick.

Wilsdorf’s illustrations reflect the quirkiness of this title beautifully.  The bond between girl and squash is perfectly rendered and while humorous, the images never laugh at Sophie and her new friend.  The warm and loving family is depicted in their kitchen and home, ready to eat the squash but also ready to let Sophie decide. 

Pick this one for your next autumnal storytime though it will also make a nice addition to any garden-themed unit too.  Appropriate for ages 4-6.

Reviewed from digital copy received from Edelweiss and Random House.

Watsons Go to Birmingham – The Movie

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This fall, The Hallmark Channel will airing a film version of The Watsons Go to Birmingham.  Here’s hoping it comes to DVD or Netflix!  Huffington Post has the trailer which is certainly worth seeing.

Thanks to Fuse #8 for the link.

2013 Eisner Awards

The 2013 Eisner Awards have been announced.  These awards are the Comic Industry Awards and contain awards for children’s and teen materials as well as many awards for adult graphic novels and comics.  Here are the winners that were announced at Comic-Con:

Best Publication for Early Readers (up to age 7)

Babymouse for President (Babymouse #16)

Babymouse for President by Jennifer L. Holm and Matthew Holm

Best Publication for Kids (ages 8–12)

Adventure Time Vol. 1

Adventure Time by Ryan North, Shelli Paroline, and Braden Lamb

Best Publication for Teens (ages 13–17)

A Wrinkle in Time: The Graphic Novel

A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle, adapted by Hope Larson

Best Reality-Based Work

Annie Sullivan and the Trials of Helen Keller

Annie Sullivan and the Trials of Helen Keller by Joseph Lambert (tied with adult book)

And I just had to include this last one because it is one of my family’s favorites and definitely works well for older children and teens:

Best Humor Publication

Darth Vader and Son

Darth Vader and Son by Jeffrey Brown