cover image Sophie’s Squash Go to School

Sophie’s Squash Go to School

Pat Zietlow Miller, illus. by Anne Wilsdorf. Random/Schwartz & Wade, $17.99 (40p) ISBN 978-0-553-50944-1

As the heroine of Sophie’s Squash (2013) heads to school, Bonnie and Baxter—the butternut squash she befriended at the end of that book—come along. The squashes’ painted-on smiles keep them looking permanently happy, but Sophie is having a rougher time: “The chairs were uncomfortable. The milk tasted funny. And no one appreciated her two best friends.” A cheerful boy named Steven is the worst offender, as far as Sophie is concerned, and she rebuffs his repeated attempts at friendship. Once again, Wilsdorf adeptly captures Sophie’s every mercurial grimace and scowl, as well as her softening attitudes, both toward school and toward Steven, who Miller gives the patience of a saint. By book’s end, most readers will be willing to side with Sophie’s parents, who remind her that it’s good to have friends: “Especially human ones.” Ages 3–7. [em]Author’s agent: Ammi-Joan Paquette, Erin Murphy Literary. Illustrator’s agency: Studio Goodwin Sturges. (June) [/em]