cover image Sing, Sophie!

Sing, Sophie!

Dayle Ann Dodds. Candlewick Press (MA), $15.99 (32pp) ISBN 978-0-7636-0131-7

""My dog ran off, my cat has fleas,/ My fish won't swim, and I hate peas./ But I'm a cowgirl through and through,/ Yippie-ky-yee!/ Yippee-ky-yuu!"" sings Sophie. Half Shirley Temple, half Little Lulu, Dodds's (The Shape of Things) insouciant heroine shouts, ""I've got a song in my heart and it needs to come out."" When none of the members of her family wants to listen, the irrepressible Sophie drags her guitar out to the field to sing to the corn and crickets. Whimsical and appealing, each of Sophie's songs is filled with pint-sized cowgirl blues, and when baby Jacob in inconsolable during a storm, it is Sophie's music, ""louder than thunder, stronger than lightning,"" that saves the day. Litzinger's (Louella Mae, She's Run Away!, reviewed Mar. 31) exuberant watercolor and pencil illustrations, with their daffily skewed scales and perspectives, express the boundless joy of Sophie's enthusiasms, while her cleverly designed scenes feature bemused barnyard animals and Sophie's patient family as she sings her heartfelt tunes. There is such upbeat cheer in each of Sophie's country and western laments and such droll humor in the illustrations of her foot-stomping story that readers are sure to sing ""Yippee-ky-yee!"" right along with her. Ages 5-8. (May)