Sophie Trophy Too
Sophie Trophy Too
Last up for Show and Tell was Hailey. Joining Miss Ruby, she gently lifted a plant out of a box. “Grandma’s Christmas cactus has been covered in buds for weeks. Its first flower just opened.”
The bloom bowed toward Sophie, heavy with petals.
It looked like a pink swan or the place a fairy would sleep in a magic garden.
It was perfect. And so close.
Reaching out, Sophie stroked the petals. Her eyelids drooped. Oh, that’s the most softly-soft softness. Like puppy ears. Or fuzzy mittens. Or marshmallows.
“It’s fragile, Sophie,” warned Miss Ruby.
Snap! The bloom fell to the floor.
A chill roller-coastered up one of Sophie’s arms and down the other.
Her classmates groaned.
“Dear me,” Miss Ruby said.
Hailey’s shoulders turned ladder-stiff. “You wrecked it.”
Sophie had a sad heart. “I’m really sorry.”
Hailey’s lips trembled. She put the cactus back in the box.
Sophie is a very impulsive grade three girl who wants to be friends with Hailey, a new student in class. No matter how hard Sophie tries, however, her natural enthusiasm and attention challenges overpower good sense. One step at a time, she seems to ruin their would-be friendship as well as cause other problems at school, although her antics and originality are appreciated by many. “You should get a trophy, Sophie, for the funny things you say,” Brayden laughs. By the end of the story, however, Sophie’s sensitivity and true kindness endear her to Hailey who offers her own apology of sorts for being short-tempered.
Eileen Holland’s sequel to her earlier title Sophie Trophy is consistent and characterful, drawing in authentic school details with vivid authenticity. In attempts to show readers Sophie’s internal play-by-play, at times the writing does get a bit cumbersome, telling rather than showing (“Sophie had a sad heart”). This, however, will be forgiven by children who appreciate the comical antics of a girl who strives for something they all can recognize—acceptance.
With curriculum connections to elementary science outcomes related to the sun and moon, Sophy Trophy Too will make welcome independent-reading fare for classroom and school libraries. Six whimsical child-friendly illustrations in black-and-white, by award-winning artist Brooke Kerrigan, along with Kerrigan’s engaging book jacket images, complete the package.
This title is published by Crwth (pronounced Crooth) Press, an independent Vancouver publisher whose emphasis on accessibility and sustainability is evident in this project’s use of large, clear font and 100% post-consumer waste paper plus vegetable-based inks.
Bev Brenna is the author of over a dozen books for young people including her “Wild Orchid” trilogy dealing with a teen protagonist who has Asperger’s Syndrome. She is also a professor at the University of Saskatchewan where her research interests include literacy and children’s literature.