Words by Pat Zietlow Miller
Illustrated by Anne Wilsdorf
This is one of the books I wish I’d found long before. I love it now, but I know it would have been nearly read to breaking by now if we had it 7-8 years ago.
Sophie is a young girl who finds a squash, a plain butternut squash, at the farmers market. Her parents want to make it for dinner, but Sophie drew a face on it and named it Bernice.
You can’t eat Bernice!
But Bernice is a good playfellow. Sophie plays with Bernice all summer. They roll down the hill together, play house, and even go to story time. But over time Bernice gets a little soft, she gets a little… freckly… So Sophie decides to figure out how to make Bernice feel better.
It doesn’t turn out exactly the way Sophie intended, but it’s a happy ending anyway.
This is a perfect book for kids who like to march to the beat of their own drum, the kids whose imaginations burst forth in all sorts of different new games and who can find toys in everything and anything.
Sophie is full of spunk and personality and kids resonate with that.
It’s such a dear story, it both tugs at your heart and makes you laugh, and the pictures are great at that. They have just the right amount of silliness and whimsy to enhance the humor, but not so much that it detracts from the serious dilemma Sophie feels faced with.
It’s a little bit on the longer side compared with many new picture books, but the flow of the text doesn’t make it feel long at all. In fact, you might want to reread it right away.