Friday, June 3, 2016

Sophie's Squash Go to School - #PPBF

    SOPHIE'S SQUASH was one of my favorite titles in 2013. Sweet. Quirky. Re-readable.
    And now there's a sequel!
    Pre-order this one for Sophie lovers. Squash lovers. Possibly everyone.

Author: Pat Zeitlow Miller
Illustrator: Anne Wilsdorf
Publisher: Random House, June 28, 2016
Intended Ages: 3-7
Themes: Fear, First-day-of-School, Friendship
Opening Line: "On the first day of school, Sophie peeked into her classroom."
Synopsis: When Sophie heads to school, it's easier for her to play with her two best buddies (squash) than to make new friends. And if she were to want another friend, it would certainly not be with the pesky boy that follows her everywhere. But squash don't last forever . . .
What I like about this book: Making friends is a skill. For some kids it comes easier than others, but everyone can benefit from a reminder to open their hearts and eyes to possibilities. And a reminder that sometimes it takes persistence to make a new friend. The author introduces this idea gently, without feeling preachy. And don't you all adore the illustrator's rendering of Sophie on the cover!? Pigtails askew. Bounding off the tips of her toes. The illustrator's playful energy threads through each spread, making the entire premise of squash friends plausible. The story takes place in a realistic multicultural classroom, with realistic moments of anger and trepidation portrayed. Finish the book and treat yourself to a new plant dance!
  • Discuss what makes a good friend. How many of these traits do YOU have?  Elementary School has a great activity building on this idea, for the classroom.
  • Can a toy be a friend? Why or why not?
  • With a parent's approval, talk to someone new. Not everyone will be a friend, but they're all interesting! 
  • Share something with someone--bonus if it's someone who looks lonely. Perhaps make cookies for a neighbor, put a handmade card in someone's mailbox, sing someone a song.
  • Plant seeds and practice a dance for when the sprouts appear.
  • If you google search "back to school activities"-there are loads of links for teachers! One favorite:  Scholastic -Top five ways to get to know your students -
  • You can hear the author read the original book and follow links to classroom activities for it on her website. There are no posted activities for this new book--yet. So check back!
 I hope you enjoyed this preview! This is a book to put on your pre-order or to-be-read list!
This review is part of PPBF (Perfect Picture Book Friday) where bloggers share great picture books. Organized and curated by author Susanna Leonard Hill, she keeps an ever-growing list of Perfect Picture Books. #PPBF

Note: My review is based on a Folded and Gathered review copy received from the publisher in exchange for my honest review. No other compensation was received.  I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”