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Tuesday, July 8, 2014

The Power of Books: Our Very Own Squash



Sophie's Squash, by Pat Zietlow Miller & Anne Wilsdorf, has been a very popular book at our house since it came out last year. It's been SO popular that it should have come as no surprise several months ago when my five-year-old wouldn't let me cook a spaghetti squash I bought, instead insisting that it was her new friend. She named her squash Lucy. A little background on the book, for those of you who aren't familiar:

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?

The recipient of four starred reviews, an Ezra Jack Keats New Writer Honor, and a Charlotte Zolotow Honor, Sophie's Squash will be a fresh addition to any collection of seasonal books.

What's a mom to do? I let her draw a face on it and "Lucy" was carried around, brought on wagon walks, and tucked in at night for...well, for a long time. As gardening season approached (it's late in Colorado due to occasional snowstorms in April/May), I gently suggested that we make Lucy a bed in the backyard. The squash fell and broke open on the way to the garden, so I let my daughter sprinkle some of Lucy's seeds in a few different spots before we buried the halves of her. And so this:


Has turned into this:

There are three little sections of green in this photo (except for behind her~ those are weeds)~ all from Lucy

Now we're just waiting for the final step~ finding a baby squash.
Illustration from Sophie's Squash
This book is a joy all on its own, but the fact that it prompted such a great activity with me and my little one makes it extra special. If you have any wee kids/grandkids/neighborhood kids who have birthdays coming up, I highly suggest getting a copy of Sophie's Squash along with your choice of grocery store squash. It's a fun gift pairing. And a sequel to the book, Sophie's Seeds, is coming soon.

Hope you're enjoying some fun activities this summer!


21 comments:

  1. I planted a pumpkin for the first time this year, so I'm identifying with that last picture.
    I hope you get some good squashes!

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    1. Thanks! We've planted pumpkin seeds as well~ those things can definitely take over a garden, but it's well worth it come September/October. There's nothing quite like having a pumpkin in your garden during autumn.

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  2. What a fun way to bring a story to life. I will be happy to see the update when the squash makes its' blog debut.

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    1. Yes, I'll have to do an update post when Lucy's children show up :)

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  3. Ooh, thanks for this - I think I know just the person to get this for :)

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  4. Wow! That must be a good book. Thanks for sharing how much your squash was loved.

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    1. It's one of my favorite picture books. I know it's a good choice when I get requests to hear it over and over :)

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  5. I adore this book so very, very much. So lovely to see it inspiring your little one! :)

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  6. Love the story about the squash. I'm glad you were finally able to plant it.

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  7. Okay, I'm going to have to find this; my girls would love it. I need to keep up better on picture books!

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  8. Oh, too funny that a picture book inspired a squash named Lucy. See the power of books? Love it :-) I must get a copy of Sophie's Squash for the little girls in our family, too. Thanks for the heads-up on what sounds like a great book--and the cute story about your little one. Enjoy Lucy's produce!
    (p.s. Hubby is a retired teacher, but when teaching he used to read the kids (primary age) a story out of an old anthology called "The Turnip," by Alexei Tolstoi. He would take a real turnip to school to illustrate. How many children know what a turnip is anymore, let alone a spaghetti squash???)

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  9. What a special story! I hope I have many bookish adventures with my son like that one day. And your daughter is adorable!

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  10. What an adorable story! I love how you took the book into your lives and made it your own. (Makes me miss the days when my girls were that age.)

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  11. Love the 'waiting for the squash to grow' picture :P Very cute :)

    The power of fiction, eh?

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