Growing Friends: A Review of Sophie’s Squash Go to School

In my area, most schools have already let out for the summer. The final bell has tolled and students are ready to go on vacation, plunge into swimming pools, and enjoy all of the other activities that summer brings. But, we all know how time flies, and before long, the bell will toll again- this time, welcoming students back to school. Some will be entering school for the first time.

Readers first had the opportunity to meet Sophie and her squash in Sophie’s Squash, written by Pat Zietlow Miller and illustrated by Anne Wilsdorf. If you haven’t read this title, you’ll want to fix that quickly!

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Now, Sophie is back. Her squash seeds produced two new friends, Bonnie and Baxter. As surely as the seasons changed, Sophie must now head off to school for the first time. And before she sets foot in the door, she already has determined one thing: she doesn’t need anymore friends.

That doesn’t stop her classmates from trying. One friend in particular, Steven, won’t give up. His persistence isn’t quite enough for Sophie, however.

As summer turns to fall, and fall turns to winter, it’s time for Sophie’s squash to be tucked into bed and Sophie acknowledges it might be time for her to make new friends- slowly, but surely.

An accident, a brave move by Steven, and class collaboration all come together to tie this story together quite nicely. The book leaves us satisfied, with a perfect message about being patient- with ourselves, and with our friends.

When you’re making your lesson plans and culling great books to read at the beginning of the year, you’ll want to make sure both Sophie’s Squash, and Sophie’s Squash Go To School are on your list. Pat Zietlow Miller has crafted a story that covers a wide array of emotions as young children begin school, but brings them a message of assurance that when you leave yourself room to grow, many great things can bloom.

Sophie’s Squash Go To School publishes from Random House on 06/28/16.

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