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ONE WORD FROM SOPHIA by Jim Averbeck Kirkus Star


by Jim Averbeck ; illustrated by Yasmeen Ismail

Pub Date: June 16th, 2015
ISBN: 978-1-4814-0514-0
Publisher: Atheneum

Tutu-wearing Sophia packs determination, whimsy, and a plethora of strategies to handle a passel of impressive words.

One small, vivacious, loquacious little brown girl dreams of her One True Desire: a pet giraffe for her birthday. Sophia must first convince Mother, a judge; Father, a businessman; Uncle Conrad, a politician; and Grand-mamá, the strictest of them all. Sophia crafts consecutive speeches to build a case for the judge, a cost analysis for the businessman, and a poll (of her toys) for the politician. To counter accusations that her pleas are too “effusive,” “loquacious,” and “verbose,” Sophia pares down the language with each ask until Grand-mamá hears just one word. From the first page to the last, Sophia’s energy, creativity, and innovative critical thinking will entertain both adults and children. Whether readers see this as a mixed-race family or a family of color with a broad spectrum of skin tones, this book offers a mirror for a wide variety of readers. Starting with the endpapers, the watercolor-and–colored-pencil illustrations depict the closeness of the family, their expectations of Sophia’s intellectual prowess, and her adeptness at employing all of the wiles of childhood to persuade. A concluding glossary explicates the advanced vocabulary with wit and warmth.

A must-read—for pet lovers and even for those not yet convinced.

(Picture book. 4-8)