Sophie Peterman Tells the Truth!

Overview

Sophie Peterman is here to tell you the truth about babies.

Babies are not sweet.

Babies are not precious.

Babies are not cute.

Babies are...

What, you thought she'd just give it away? Well, here's a hint:

It's not pretty!

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Overview

Sophie Peterman is here to tell you the truth about babies.

Babies are not sweet.

Babies are not precious.

Babies are not cute.

Babies are...

What, you thought she'd just give it away? Well, here's a hint:

It's not pretty!

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"This is a familiar theme, but Weeks brings a snappy humor to her catalog of indignities, and older sibs in the audience will recognize and giggle at the truths...The illustrations, India-ink linework with a graininess that suggests black crayon and spaces filled with planes of digital color, have a robustness appropriate to determined little Sophie."—The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books
Children's Literature - Margaret Orto
With a strong and direct voice, older sister Sophie Peterman, narrates the truth about having a baby brother to her picture book audience. She emphatically warns other children that if they are ever consulted by their parents on whether they would like a baby brother or sister, they should definitely say, "No." Her reasons for not wanting a younger sibling are hilarious and point out, from her point of view, the downside of a baby around the house, including leaky diapers and newborns that look like aliens. It does not get much better as they grow from aliens to monsters and want exactly what you have, scream if they do not get it, or take your Halloween candy. Not surprisingly, Sophie also warns that you might start liking this younger sibling one day, especially if he "starts calling you something really cute because he cannot say your name right . . . and he always cries when you go off to school." Her final piece of funny yet sage advice is to never admit that you like your younger sibling because "they'll bring home another one." While not a new theme in children's picture books, this version delights with its fresh and droll voice paired with playful, digitally colored illustrations outlined in India-ink. Another nice touch is the bolded and large lettering that highlights Sophie's monologue. Both children and adults will enjoy the reading experience. Reviewer: Margaret Orto
Kristi Jemtegaard
Sure to elicit chuckles from both parents and older siblings who would just as soon be "onlys," this fresh new addition to books about sibling rivalry is a keeper.
—The Washington Post
Publishers Weekly
In a rant worthy of talk radio, young Sophie warns readers of the horrors of siblinghood: “Babies are not sweet. Babies are not precious. Babies are not cute. Babies are... your worst nightmare!” If readers need further proof of Sophie's claims, Neubecker (Wow! School!), wonderfully in his element, offers a portrait of infant-as-alien worthy of the Weekly World News (in addition to aliens, Sophie also compares babies to pirates and monsters). Truth (actually) be told, all of Sophie's complaints are familiar to the genre: babies are smelly crybabies, attention hoggers and violators of personal space and property. But Weeks (Catfish Kate and the Sweet Swamp Band) makes the material fresh: her heroine has an indelible personality and a voice that spills off the page, aided by comic typography (“If you have to sit next to a monster all the way to your aunt and uncle's house in Syracuse, New York, do not breathe in through your nose”). Fully owning her wounded rage, Sophie seethes with precocious certitude as she marshals evidence (she's big on lists) and wields rhetorical flourishes—the text is a gift to anyone reading aloud. Ages 4–8. (Nov.)
School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 2—In no uncertain terms, a girl warns readers about the perils of a new sibling. Looking like an alien at first, and the object of unwarranted praise and attention, a baby is prone to all manner of gross behaviors. Sophie reveals that the situation doesn't get better as the infant grows into a toddler (known as a "monster"): stealing Halloween candy, swallowing lucky marbles, and exhibiting general uninhibited behavior. She softens, though, when the monster begins to focus affection on her but leaves readers with a warning not to reveal this softness to parents lest they repeat the experience. Weeks has created a feisty, forthright protagonist who lays out the pros and cons of a new brother with delightful tongue-in-cheek detail. The ink and digitally colored illustrations and boldface words in the text perfectly catch the narrative nuances and enhance it with cheeky perspectives and funny touches. Older siblings will laugh at the younger child's antics and parents will chortle at Sophie's reactions and perspective in all her righteous truth telling.—Marge Loch-Wouters, La Crosse Public Library, WI
Kirkus Reviews
Straight shooter Sophie Peterman gives readers the lowdown on babies: They are your "worst nightmare." With a cocked eyebrow and a clear, authoritative voice she lists reasons why you can't trust a baby. They leak, they smell, they swallow (and eventually return!) your favorite marble, they rummage in your drawers and they devour your hidden Halloween candy. While not the first book about a disgruntled older child and the arrival of a cooing, burping bundle, this effort finds success through Sophie's fresh voice. Never whiny or petulant, she deftly delivers deadpan observations that evoke smiles. Neubecker's vivid artwork pops as he uses his bright palette and unique perspectives to create facial expressions that perfectly capture Sophie's annoyance, her mother's frustration and the baby's clear-eyed joy. Oversize, all-caps, hand-lettered portions of narration add emphasis and allow Sophie's voice and the artwork to seamlessly merge. When Sophie finally warns that you can go from hating baby to liking baby, she offers truly touching anecdotes that make her transition believable: Upon hearing a tiny voice call out, "Soapy!" to her, she just melted. Readers will too. (Picture book. 4-8)
School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 2—Sophie Peterman is going to tell the truth about bringing home a new baby, and the truth can be ugly! Babies are like aliens, pirates, and monsters, disrupting the tranquility you previously enjoyed as an only child. Babies will rummage through your underwear drawer, raid your Halloween candy stash, and swallow your favorite marble if you're not careful. On top of all that, they make strange noises, stink up their diapers, and leak. If you are really not careful, a baby can endear himself to you by being completely adorable and wanting only to be with you. Sarah Weeks's picture book (S & S/Beach Lane Books, 2009) about the pros and cons of a new sibling is enhanced by Robert Neubecker's colorful, energetic illustrations and Ann Scobie's vibrant narration. Sophie is loud, smart, and spunky. Upbeat background music complements the story. Page-turn signals are optional. A humorous, fresh take on being an older sibling.—April Mazza, Wayland Public Library, MA
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781416986867
  • Publisher: Beach Lane Books
  • Publication date: 11/10/2009
  • Pages: 32
  • Sales rank: 501,881
  • Age range: 4 - 8 Years
  • Product dimensions: 8.20 (w) x 10.20 (h) x 0.40 (d)

Meet the Author

Sarah Weeks has written many books for children, including If I Were a Lion, Paper Parade, Angel Face, So B. It, and Two eggs, please. She lives in New York City. When Sarah can't get to sleep, she goes through the alphabet in her head, trying to think of people she knew in elementary school whose names begin with each letter.

Robert Neubecker is the author and illustrator of Linus the Vegetarian T. Rex and of his own Wow! series. He is also the award-winning illustrator of Shiver Me Timbers by Douglas Florian, Sophie Peterman Tells the Truth by Sarah Weeks, I Got Two Dogs by John Lithgow, and Monsters on Machines by Deb Lund. A graduate of Parsons School of Design, Robert also illustrates for the New York Times and Slate magazine. After twenty years in Manhattan, he and his family live in Park City, Utah. Visit Robert at Neubecker.com.

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