SOPHIE’S MASTERPIECE by Eileen Spinelli
Kirkus Star

SOPHIE’S MASTERPIECE

by , illustrated by
Age Range: 7 - 9

KIRKUS REVIEW

The creators of When Mama Comes Home Tonight (1998) weave another affecting tale, in which a gentle, eight-legged artist spends her last strength on a gift to a newborn baby. Though Sophie’s ingeniously patterned webs are the delight of her Mama and playmates, when she moves into a drab boarding house, its residents react to her presence with fear and disgust. Most of its residents, that is—weary and aging, Sophie finds a home and quiet welcome at last when she crawls into an expectant young mother’s yarn basket. Sophie’s webs, all finer than the finest lace, ripple with stars, flowers, and geometric patterns in Dyer’s delicately detailed watercolors. She herself cuts a stylish bohemian figure, with long, slender legs in multicolored stockings radiating from a black body topped by a flaxen-haired human head. Learning that the young woman is too poor to knit or buy a blanket, Sophie gathers strands of moonlight, wisps of night and pine, old lullabies, snowflakes, and, last of all, her own heart to create a gift that the new mother receives with “love and wonderment.” Sophie may physically resemble the proud, angry protagonist of Kate Hovey’s Arachne Speaks (2000), but her generosity of spirit gives her a very different character. (Picture book. 7-9)

Pub Date: May 1st, 2001
ISBN: 0-689-80112-2
Page count: 32pp
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15th, 2001




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