Perfect Picture Book Friday-Sophie’s Squash

Yippee! Perfect Picture Book Friday is back in full swing. Last week, I posted about how fall is my favorite season. Today, I am posting about Sophie’s Squash, which is WAY HIGH on my list of favorite picture books.

sophie's squashSophie’s Squash

By Pat Zeitlow Miller

Illustrated by Anne Wilsdorf

Schwartz & Wade  2013

Ages:  3-7

Themes: Friendship, Fall

Synopsis: (from publisher’s website) 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?

Opening: One bright fall day, Sophie chose a squash at the farmers’ market. Her parents planned to serve it for supper, but Sophie had other ideas.

HERE at Happy Birthday Author, Eric VanRaepenbusch and his kids make leaf prints with squash leaves.
I didn’t see other resources for this book, so I came up with some myself. I think it would be all kinds of fun for a child to make their own squash friend, then give it a name and marker-drawn face just like Sophie did for Bernice. If real squash aren’t practical, a paper puppet squash friend glued to a tongue depressor would be the next best thing. Then choose some or all of these activities for children to do with their squash friend.

  • Have your squash friend join you for another reading of Sophie’s Squash and act out parts of the story as it is read.
  • Give an oral or written report about your squash. Include these things in your report. Tell your squash’s name. The book named activities that Sophie did with Bernice. Name activities that you enjoy doing with your squash. When Sophie made a soft bed of soil and covered Bernice, she chose Bernice’s favorite spot. Where would you make your squash’s bed of soil?
  • In the book, Sophie’s dad brings home another pet for Sophie to cheer her up while Bernice is sleeping in the soil. Name three pets that you think would have been more exciting to Sophie than Ace. Tell why you think they would be more exciting to Sophie.
  • Sophie drew pictures of Bernice and hung them on her bedroom wall. Draw a picture of your squash friend and hang it in a special place.

Why I Love This Book: I have mentioned in some of my other reviews that there are books that I want to hug after reading them. This is one of those huggable books. The story captured my heart in a way that made me want to head straight to the supermarket and buy a squash for every child I know. I mean…I’m in love with this squash named Bernice and every child needs a squash friend of their own!!!! Pat’s text paints a relationship between girl, squash, and parents that is endearing and charming. I laughed out loud at Sophie’s parents’ attempt to convince her to have Bernice for supper before she rots. Funny stuff, folks! The illustrations are pure delight. The characters’ expressions are priceless and perfect. A truly Perfect Picture Book!

Susanna Leonard Hill features Perfect Picture Book Friday on her blog. This is a wonderful resource if you are wondering what books to give as gifts, needing material for a lesson, or just looking for a great book to read. Here is a list of books by category. Each book listed has a link to a review, information about that book, and resources for activities. There is also an alphabetical list.

34 thoughts on “Perfect Picture Book Friday-Sophie’s Squash

  1. Penny, thanks for finding such a delightfully unusual book to share. Your recommendation has made me put it on my must read list – that and the fact that my mom’s name is Bernice….a name you just never see that often. Oh- and many congrats on getting an agent!!


  2. I LOVE this book and I haven’t even read it yet! I’ve seen it talked about and it’s on my want list, but it hasn’t made it to my already read list! i like when kids have imaginary friends. We talk about that sometimes with kids. Bernice sounds like a great friend. And I love squash!! Yummmmm! thanks for the fun review and activities!


  3. This really sounds like a book filled with heart. Children are so passionate about the natural world, so I can see the attachment. You really gave some great suggestions on how to use this book with children!


  4. “Summer” saying that you’d “butternut” miss this sweet story!
    Can’t wait to read all about Bernice!


  5. I don’t have Sophie’s Squash yet but sounds like a great one to add to my collection. I volunteer read at a small private school and present a project to go along with the week’s theme. Thanks Penny!


  6. I read about Sophie’s Squash on Eric’s site, but haven’t read the actual book yet. It sounds SO delightful, and any book that garners such high praise from you I’m sure I’d love. So fun the PPBF has started up again. Getting out my library list and heading it with Sophie’s Squash 🙂


  7. That sounds adorable, totally seasonal and the perfect example of a character driven pb. Thanks, Penny!


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