cover image Sophie's Tom

Sophie's Tom

Dick King-Smith. Candlewick Press (MA), $14.95 (112pp) ISBN 978-1-56402-107-6

As spunky and stubborn as ever, animal-lover Sophie makes a comeback in this sequel to Sophie's Snail. Still planning to become a lady farmer, the pint-size heroine continues to raise livestock (slugs, wood lice, earwigs, etc.) in the potting shed. Shortly after her fifth birthday, she adopts her first four-legged pet--Tom, a stray black cat--despite protests from her feline-hating father. This and other memorable events--starting school, forming a brief friendship with classmate Duncan, getting even with her number-one enemy, Dawn--are humorously accented by Parkins's winsome drawings. With remarkable clarity, King-Smith ( Babe: The Gallant Pig ; Mar tin's Mice ) expresses the concerns of a highly imaginative child who emerges as the British equivalent of Ramona Quimby. While Sophie's spirit is sure to win readers' admiration, her lively antics and unique perspective will keep laughs coming. Ages 5-9. (Aug.)