Outside the market, the wood stands sag under the weight of plump pumpkins, colorful gourds, and squash. Each one ready to cart home, carve into a jack-o-lantern, turn into delicious pie, or hearty soup topped with toasted seeds. Autumn, as I’ve mentioned in past posts, is my favorite season. Starting in September, I fill a cookpot with cinnamon sticks, cloves, a dash of vanilla, and enough water to simmer for a good, long time. The sweet steam curls around the rooms, reminding me it’s time to bake my favorite pumpkin chocolate chip muffins and roast up a squash for supper. And speaking of roasting up a squash…
For today’s Perfect Picture Book Friday review, I’m sharing a beloved picture book, a book my daughter calls iconic, about a determined girl named Sophie, who adores the squash her parents purchase at the farmers’ market. In fact, Sophie loves the squash sooooo much, she paints a face on it, names it Bernice, and considers the squash her best friend. Which raises the question: How do you cook up someone’s best friend?
The answer: You don’t.
Title – Sophie’s Squash
Written by – Pat Zietlow Miller
Illustrated by – Anne Wilsdorf
Published – Schwartz & Wade Books – 2013
Suitable for ages – 3 to 7.
Topics – Friendship, attachment, companionship, loyalty.
Opening – One bright fall day, Sophie chose a squash at the farmer’ market. Her parents planned t serve it for supper, but Sophie had other ideas.
Amazon Review – HERE. On a trip to the farmers’ market with her parents, Sophie chooses a squash, but instead of letting her mom cook it, she names it Bernice. From then on, Sophie brings Bernice everywhere, despite her parents’ gentle warnings that Bernice will begin to rot. As winter nears, Sophie does start to notice changes…. What’s a girl to do when the squash she loves is in trouble?
Why do I like this book? Sophie’s Squash is more than a story about a girl who thinks of a squash as her best friend, Sophie names the squash Bernice and cares for it the same as a mother cares for her child. No matter what anyone says against her squash, Sophie defends and protects Bernice. And when her squash gets spotty and soft, Sophie stands by Bernice’s side, seeking help–the same as a parent would seek medical help for their child. For the love of squash, this is flat out one of the best picture books to share with a child (or enjoy all by yourself) this season.
And I have to sing out the praises for the creative talents of the illustrator, Anne Wilsdorf, who gave Sophie a bigger than life, child-pleasing appearance, showing clear emotions from cover to cover. Sophie’s impulsive ways and ginormous heart shine on every page!
Learn more about Pat Zietlow Miller HERE.
Listen to Sophie’s Squash read aloud by the author HERE.
Learn more about Anne Wilsdorf HERE.
I invite you to visit me next week for The Monday Poems.
P.S. If you have a fond memory of the farmers’ Market, a family tradition for this time of year, or you just want to say hi, I hope you’ll scroll down to the comments.