Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Good Sophie! Time Out for Sophie by Rosemary Wells



Mama tries to be patient, but when that lovely  bowl of mac 'n' cheese hits the floor for the second time, Sophie is sent off to the thinking chair.

Later Daddy has the same problem. He's taking his rotation folding laundry and Sophie is "helping."

Just as Dad gets the stack of beautifully folded laundry into the laundry basket to deliver upstairs, Sophie "accidentally" knocks it off the dryer. Dad shows great self control as he patiently folds it all over again This is a good game, Sophie seems to say to herself as she manages to spill it all out of the basket AGAIN, this time creating a deliberate deluge of clean laundry all over the room!

Guess what happens next!

But Sophie seems not to have gotten the message. Later that day Grandma invites Sophie to sit beside her as they share a story. It's a sweet thought, but Sophie thinks grabbing Grandma's glasses and sticking them on her own nose is way more fun than a story. Grandma repossesses her glasses and tries again. Giggling, Sophie snatches them again and again, finally sticking them triumphantly on Bear's face. Is it time for time-out for Sophie again?

But Grandma tries another twist with her willful little trickster.

This time it's TIME-OUT for the grownup.

Grandma drops the book, takes herself to the rocker where there's no room for Sophie, crosses her arms, and rocks silently.

Sophie is astonished. Hey, this is no fun, she thinks. With concerned concentration she takes the spectacles off Bear and sticks them carefully back on Grandma's nose where they belong.


Turning the tables on the mischievous Sophie seems to work this time, but with Rosemary Well's funny new toddler character, we just know there may be more time-outs in Sophie's future, in Time-Out for Sophie (Viking, 2013). Sophie is little mouse girl with that gleam in her eye that just says "Let's see what will happen if...." Parents who have had toddlers will recognize that exasperating merry prankster that lurks in every tot now and then, but author-illustrator Rosemary Wells knows how to portray toddlers and to show a loving family dealing with those episodes in Sophie's delightful debut. Wells' signature style is self-evident here in her illustrations, as with minimal text, she lets her characters' body language and expressive faces tell the tale so well.  More Sophie!



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