What to Do? What to Do?

What to Do? What to Do?

by Janet Pedersen, Toni Teeven
     
 

Old Sophie lives all alone and yearns for someone to talk to. Her wish comes true one day when she hears some birds sing to her. “Nice lady, sweet lady,” they seem to say. Sophie is so delighted that she bakes her most delicious bread for them. But before long, their sweet twitters and tweets turn into greedy squawks and screeches. Soon, Sophie is weary

Overview

Old Sophie lives all alone and yearns for someone to talk to. Her wish comes true one day when she hears some birds sing to her. “Nice lady, sweet lady,” they seem to say. Sophie is so delighted that she bakes her most delicious bread for them. But before long, their sweet twitters and tweets turn into greedy squawks and screeches. Soon, Sophie is weary of kneading, weary of baking, and very weary of birds. What to do? What to do?
Winsome, Eastern European–inspired watercolors and a lively narrative come together for a fresh, clever, and original tale that has all the makings of a modern classic.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Its delicious humor, rhythmic language, and smooth pacing make the book a winning read-aloud." Booklist, ALA

"Ever so clever and charming." Kirkus Reviews

"Children will delight in this picture book." School Library Journal

"Loose line-and-watercolor illustrations complement the text, which carries both reader and Sophie to the harmonious end with understated humor." Horn Book Guide, Pointer

Children's Literature
Lonely Sophie is pleased when some black birds seem to call her "Nice lady, sweet lady." She is delighted to bake her good sweet bread for them and their friends. But soon more and more birds become demanding, noisy, and quarrelsome as she keeps baking. The good smells reach the town as she tries in vain to keep up. "What to do? What to do?" worries Sophie. The townsfolk ask her to bake them some of that good smelling bread, but the birds will not allow her the time. The arrival of Velma, "seer, sage, and confidential adviser" (and also probable greedy fake), fortunately provides a happy solution for clever Sophie and the town. The illustrations—lively-outlined transparent watercolors—transport us to a small foreign town amid naturalistic scenery, as well as depicting the finally indomitable Sophie with expressive face, flowered shawl, and floppy red hat amid those pesky birds. In the delightful finale, Sophie finds her role in town: "Tea was served and bread was sold./Friends were made as good as gold/And Sophie was never lonely again." 2006, Clarion Books/Houghton Mifflin Company, Ages 4 to 8.
—Ken Marantz and Sylvia Marantz
School Library Journal
K-Gr 3-Sophie is a lonely old woman who longs for companionship and conversation. She talks to the pots and pans, and the furniture and flowers, but never gets a reply. While going to the well in her bright orange hat and fringed shawl, she hears the birds answering her remarks. To befriend them, she bakes bread and scatters crumbs. Thus begins a growing chore. The birds multiply and become greedier and greedier. Sophie wonders, "What to do? What to do?" When she eventually visits a shady fortune-teller, Sophie recognizes the woman's scam and tricks her into accepting the orange hat and shawl in trade for the fortune. Mistaking the seer in the orange hat for Sophie, the birds follow her out of town. The townspeople smell the fresh bread, see the welcome sign Sophie has posted, and come to visit. At last "Friends were made as good as gold. And Sophie was never lonely again." The protagonist is likable for her resourcefulness. Not one to let loneliness get the best of her, she cleverly finds solutions to her problems. The light, airy watercolors reflect her bright outlook. The greedy black birds grow in number and size in just a few pages until they dominate the picture. Some of the architecture reflects an Eastern European setting. Children will delight in this picture book in both individual and group settings.-Carolyn Janssen, Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County, OH Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780618446322
Publisher:
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Publication date:
06/12/2006
Edition description:
None
Pages:
32
Product dimensions:
(w) x (h) x 0.12(d)
Lexile:
480L (what's this?)
Age Range:
4 - 7 Years

Meet the Author

Janet Pedersen has illustrated several picture books, three of which she has also written: MILLIE IN THE MEADOW, MILLIE WANTS TO PLAY, and the forthcoming PINO AND THE SIGNORA'S PASTA (all Candlewick). This is her first book for Clarion. She lives with her husband and son in Brooklyn, New York.

Toni Teevin wrote and illustrated several picture books under the name Toni Hormann. She was born in Detroit and was a long-time resident of the Chicago area until her death in 2003.

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