Can Sophie Change the World?
Nancy Elizabeth Wallace, illus. by Aura Lewis. Chronicle, $16.99 (32p) ISBN 978
When Sophie asks Grandpop what he wants for his birthday, he gives her a tall order: for the week leading up to his birthday, he asks Sophie to change the world via kind deeds, or mitzvahs. Dubious about the impact she can make, she approaches the week with a new level of attentiveness and intentionality, and Lewis’s delicate mixed-media vignettes show Sophie modeling consideration and thoughtfulness in her day-to-day. Though Sophie continues to believe that “I didn’t change the world,” Grandpop begs to differ; as Wallace writes, Sophie has helped make it a “more giving, sharing, blooming, caring place,” and the pink-skinned, Jewish-cued family celebrates by crafting a flower-like record of her good deeds. Some readers may wish for a clearer explanation of mitzvah, including connection to the Jewish tradition, but the story effectively shows how every kind act creates its own momentum of good. Ages 3–5. (Mar.)
Reviewed on: 05/26/2022