Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

Sophie's Squash Go to School

Sophie's Squash Go to School

Pat Zietlow Miller
Illustrator:  Anne Wilsdorf 
Picture Book
For ages 4 to 6
Random House, 2016   ISBN: 978-0553509441

It is the first day of school and Sophie is feeling a little nervous. Sophie’s parents try to comfort her, telling her that she will make lots of new friends and that she will “have tons of fun,” but it turns out that they are wrong. It is bad enough that the chairs are hard and that the milk “tasted funny,” but what really annoys Sophie is that the other children do not appreciate that Sophie’s squash friends, Bonnie and Baxter, are not toys. Nor are they food. Bonnie and Baxter are her friends.

Sophie is further annoyed because a boy called Steven Green keeps hovering around her. Ms. Park tells Sophie that he is “just trying to be nice,” but Sophie isn’t having any of it. She does not want to be friends with Steven and that is that.

The thing is that Steven cannot seem to take a hint. He keeps trying to be a friend, and when Sophie tells her parents about what is going on in class they think that Steven “sounds adorable.” They believe that Sophie should have a human friend, but she staunchly insists that her squash friends are all she needs.

Change can be hard to get used to, especially when you are a child. Going to school for the first time is a huge step that many children find intimidating, a step that can be filled with anxieties and uncertainties.

In this sweet story Sophie, who we met in the book Sophie’s Squash, comes back and faces her first days of school. She not surprisingly holds onto the things that are familiar to her. She is determined not to make friends with anyone new, and then she begins to appreciate that maybe, just maybe, change is sometimes a good thing.