One Word From Sophia

It’s Perfect Picture Book Friday!

Title: One Word from Sophiaimg_1103
Written by: Jim Averbeck
Illustrated by: Yasmeen Ismail
Atheneum, 2015, fiction
Suitable for ages: 4-8
Lexile: AD770
Themes/topics: vocabulary, birthdays, family, giraffes, interpersonal communication

Sophia’s birthday was coming up, and she had five things on her mind – One True Desire and four problems.
Her One True Desire was to get a pet giraffe for her birthday. Her four problems were…

Brief synopsis (from
Sophia tries varied techniques to get the giraffe she wants more than anything in this story about the nuances of negotiation. Sophia has one true desire for her birthday. But she has Four Big Problems in the way: Mom, Dad, Uncle Conrad… and Grand-mama. Will her presentations, proposals, and pie charts convince them otherwise? Turns out, all it takes is one word.

Activities and Resources:
Curriculum Guide
Persuasive Writing lesson
Teachers – This a great book to teach kids about the importance of considering audience in speaking or writing. For older students, analyze Sophia’s proposals and identify the features and how they match up with her target audience. Think of another profession and write a proposal for Sophia’s giraffe that fits that person.
Vocabulary – choose another concept (such as “too many words” in the book) and find new ways to say it.

Why I like this book:
Kids love to learn big words, and this story has a few impressive ones! Sophia, a precocious child, is quite charming and earnest in the pursuit of her One True Desire. The story is lots of fun, full of spunk, and features great illustrations of a diverse cast of characters. This book choice is perfect for all those kids who are putting in their requests at this time of year.

For an illustrator’s point of view see Julie Rowan-Zoch’s review.

Visit author Susanna Hill’s Perfect Picture Books for a plethora of picture books listed by title and topic/theme, each with teacher/parent resources.

3 thoughts on “One Word From Sophia

  1. What a great story. That reminds me of me wanting a horse for Christmas. I thought I could keep it in the garage and I used to pretend I would act out the scenario during recess and how I’d respond. Love kid’s imaginations!

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.