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TIME-OUT FOR SOPHIE by Rosemary Wells Kirkus Star


by Rosemary Wells & illustrated by Rosemary Wells

Age Range: 2 - 5

Pub Date: Jan. 24th, 2013
ISBN: 978-0-670-78511-7
Publisher: Viking

Little Sophie gleefully makes mischief until Granny cleverly responds in this soon-to-be favorite about the joys of raising (and being) a toddler.

Sophie greets readers on the title page, a bibbed mouse awaiting a meal. With this seemingly innocuous image, Wells makes readers Sophie’s accomplices—the bib suggests innocence, while her impish expression forebodes trouble of the hilarious kind. Tonight, Sophie happily throws her dinner on the floor. Gently but firmly, Mama chides her and makes more. The throwing becomes exuberant, and it’s time-out for Sophie. Daddy fares no better when his adorable daughter wants to help with laundry. Folded clothes are tipped; on the second try they’re flying, leading to another time-out. But when Sophie asks for a book and then takes Grandma’s glasses repeatedly, it’s Granny who goes into time-out. With the tables turned on the puckish toddler, Sophie re-evaluates. Wells’ signature mixed-media illustrations are at their best: playful, fresh, deceptively simple yet intricately rendered and absolutely revealing. A bespectacled Sophie’s self-satisfaction while Granny extends a gentle and patient hand; the loving tenderness Sophie shows when placing the glasses on Granny’s nose; the cuddly deliciousness of the two reading together—all affirm Wells’ skill at depicting family relationships and their attendant challenges and joys.

Readers will clamor for more of the irrepressible Sophie, while parents will secretly smile—sheer delight. (Picture book. 2-5)