Five things to know about SOPHIE’S SQUASH GO TO SCHOOL

Sophie's Squash Go to SchoolI have a new book out.

A sequel to my debut book, SOPHIE’S SQUASH.


And, I cannot lie. I’m kind of excited.

So I made a list …

Five Things You Should Know About This Book

  1. It’s partly inspired by my  daughter Sonia. When Sonia — who inspired the original SOPHIE’S SQUASH — was  in preschool, a little boy admired her. He admired her so much that he told  her he was going to marry her. He drew pictures of them getting married and talked about it at great length. Sonia wanted no part of these conversations. She came home in great indignation, telling me she DID NOT WANT to marry this boy. I told her she didn’t have to. Eventually, we decided she would tell him that her mother said she couldn’t even think about marrying anyone until she was out of college and had a job. Of course, in SOPHIE’S SQUASH GO TO SCHOOL, Steven Green doesn’t want to marry Sophie. He just wants to be friends. But Sophie is still a hard sell. It takes her a while to see that human friends could be helpful. As an aside, Sonia is now 14 and volunteers one day a week at that same preschool. Just last week, another little boy told her she was beautiful. So she’s obviously appealing to 4-year-olds.
  2. It includes a memory from my childhood. I initially didn’t like several things about school, including the mandatory milk break. We drank 2 percent at home, and the school served whole milk, which I found repulsive. So Sophie saying the milk tastes funny is a direct shout-out to Merrill Elementary School in Oshkosh, Wisconsin in 1973. Eventually, my mom wrote a note excusing me from drinking milk with the rest of my classmates.
  3. That’s not a typo in the title. So many people have asked, “Shouldn’t it be SOPHIE’S SQUASH GOES TO SCHOOL”? If Sophie only had one squash, this would be true. But in this book, Sophie has two squash — Bonnie and Baxter — and they go to school.
  4. I love the endpapers. In the first Sophie’s Squash, illustrator Anne Wilsdorf filled the endpapers with drawings of Sophie playing with her squash, Bernice. In this book, Anne has Sophie and Bonnie and Baxter cavorting around the endpapers with a special guest appearance by Steven’s stuffed frog, Marvin.
  5. The frog is named after my grandfather. My maternal grandfather was Marvin Hornig. And Marvin, the stuffed frog, is named after him. I also dedicated the whole book to my aunt Faye Clow, who was a wonderful librarian. She gave me my favorite book when I was a kid — THE WESTING GAME by Ellen Raskin. There’s even a park named after her in Bettendorf, Iowa called Faye’s Field. And , of course, it’s right across the street from the library.

So now you know the inside story of this book. Feel free to amaze and astound your friends.

And, if you’d like to win your own copy, leave a comment below.

I’ll choose one winner and sign the book to the person, or squash, of their choice.


  1. I love this book! For years Sophie’s been my favorite book and I worry about how a 2nd can live up to a first and it so often doesn’t. But this was such a lovely return–the characters were consistent. I got to love Sophie and her parents again. And I loved how you built on the construct you established in the first. It was a bit hard to see her bury Bernice in the first, but with Bonnie and Baxter, she knows how life works enough to know it’s time….and yet she’s still trying to figure out life in a way that seems so much like it would be true. It makes sense that this feisty little girl who has such an easy time loving squash, would have a hard time opening up to people because, well, they’re harder to love! Fun to know all the backstories–I have been amazing and astounding friends since it came out! (Secret—pretty sure it’s going to get a Wilde Award this year!) (

  2. Cannot wait to read this, Pat! I absolutely love Sophie’s Squash and am excited to see Sophie, again. Thanks for the fun tidbits about the book 🙂

  3. Continuing a beloved character is extremely challenging and your various inspirations make this one an absolute winner. The new characters and complexities of going to school are welcome, speaking as someone who was not a fan of kindergarten for a long list of reasons, not the least of which is the milk was ways warm.
    Congratulations on Sophie’s and your success!

  4. I love the first and can’t wait to read the sequel! I never even questioned the grammar in your title, by the way. Sophie is clearly carrying two squash on the cover so, naturally, they “go” to school:) Congrats on your new book!

  5. Congratulations, Pat! Sophie is a winner! And I know Faye would be so proud!

  6. Congratulations!

  7. I can’t wait to get my hands on a copy! And thanks for sharing those five details about your book…I love sharing these with my library students.

  8. Tracy Scaglione

    I’m looking forward to reading this sequel. The students at our school love the first book.

  9. Thanks for sharing these tidbits. Love Sophie and can’t wait to read this new one. 🙂

  10. Sophie looks just like my granddaughter. Sounds a bit like her too ;-). We love anything Sophie! Congratulations on writing a wonderful sequel!

  11. Big fan of you and your work so I’m ready to see where this produce goes:)…and your “five” list gives us yet another peek at the Pat we admire.

  12. I think the idea of endpapers is a great one, every inch of a great picture book should be used to show/tell the story. Can’t wait to read about Sophie. thank you

  13. It couldn’t be cuter! Now sure you could do it since I love the first book so much, but you did. Brava!

  14. Sophies Squash is such a good book. I share it with my kindergarteners at school and we have a blast drawing faces on our squash. Can’t wait to introduce the new book this school year. I hope the Sophie stories continue.

  15. I loved the first Sophie book and am looking forward to this one. Love the idea and what you did with it. Bev Ehresman

  16. I love these kinds of posts! Getting the background on how a book came to be is always delightful. I can’t wait to read it, Pat!

  17. This looks FABULOUS – and I love the stories. Can’t wait to see it! Thanks, Pat!

  18. I love all the scoop! Congratulations, Pat. 🙂

  19. I’m so looking forward to this second book. I get to fall in love with Sophie and her squashes all over again! Congrats!!

  20. Kathy Mazurowski

    I love Sophie and her squash! Cant wait to read about the school adventure!

  21. Ahhh! I just had author Tracey Kyle on my podcast who told me that Sophie’s Squash was her favorite children’s book of all time (you can hear her high praise at It is now in my library queue and I need to add this one, too!

  22. Cindy Schumerth

    Congratulations on another out-a-the-park book about Sophie. You should be excited, it’s wonderful.

  23. I enjoyed those 5 things about your book! How awesome your aunt has a park named after her in IOWA, my home state!

  24. Angie Quantrell

    I love Sophie and her squash! Can’t wait to read about her newest squash and school adventures. It was great to read the background information about how you arrived at this book. Love it! My grandmother’s name was Faye. I don’t often hear it. Pretty cool that your Aunt Faye has the same name. Best wishes on the new book!

  25. I absolutely LOVE Sophie’s Squash (we cherish our signed copy!) and can’t wait to get my hands on this sequel. Best of luck with its release, Pat!

  26. Congratulations, Pat! I am 5 times happier that Sophie’s adventure continues. 🙂

  27. Thank you for sharing the background information. You sparked an idea for a scene in a story for me.

  28. I have been giving SOPHIE’S SQUASH as a new baby gift and now I have a special gift to give for the first day of school! Looking forward to reading and sharing the sequel 🙂

  29. I love Sophie. She’s such a great character! Love all your books, Pat!

  30. Pat, I love your sense of humor. I hated that grammar school milk, too. Be proud of yourself. Your Sophie books are beyond adorable.

  31. I love Sophie’s Squash and am delighted in this sequel. It is nice to know the story has origins from your own life. My dad’s name was Marvin and he was a great swimmer! Thank you for writing such wonderful books. I can’t wait to read this one. Thank you for posting.

  32. I just LOVE the story behind the story. Thanks for sharing!

  33. I love knowing these little nuggets about the book…thanks for sharing Pat! And I truly can’t wait to read this one too!

  34. I can’t wait to get my hands on this book. I absolutely loved the first one. Thanks for the fun post and for a chance to win a copy.

  35. I love the subtle nods to certain schools, relatives or teachers in books. Knowing the stories behind the names or references makes the tale all the sweeter!

    Congratulations on another charming and clever Sophie story!

  36. Sophie’s Squash is one of my all time favorites and I want to read the sequel. I love the way you’ve woven memories, names, and incidents into the story. Congratulations on another memorable book.

  37. Love to hear the hidden messages in these books! We never know the influences of our past relatives until we start writing! Wonderful.
    (Enjoyed your talk at the Wild West Conference this Spring as well. I look forward to future Squash/Sophie stories)

  38. Can’t wait to see it, Pat, and it is so much fun to know some of the story behind the story. Wondering what’s next for Sophie and her vegetable pals? A Halloween adventure with some pumpkin relatives?

  39. I can’t wait to get this book, Pat. SOPHIE’S SQUASH is one of my favorite picture books. Thank you for sharing the stories behind the story!

  40. Oh my! This is absolutely delightful! I’m excited to find this book and explore it’s contents as well as the end papers!

  41. Congrats! Can’t wait to read #2, given the fabulousness of #1.

  42. Can’t wait to read this book! You are so creative!!

  43. I know it’s been said before but I can’t wait to read this one! Sophie’s Squash is one of my top five faves!

  44. Thanks for sharing your exciting and the inside story! Sophie’s Squash is a favorite bedtime book with the grandkids come to visit.

  45. I am going to be on the look-out for this book! Thanks for the behind the story details.

  46. Looking forward to reading this book!

  47. I’d love to win a copy for our school’s library!

  48. Yeah! A new book! Can’t wait to read it to my grandchildren. Go Sophie, go❤️!

  49. How exciting to have this sequel, and to know the inside scoop on how it came to be. Thanks for bringing Sophie and her squash into the world! (And to school, too.)

  50. I gave Sophie’s Squash to my nieces as a gift and it quickly became their all-time favorite. They sent me a picture the other day of them holding Sophie’s Squash Go To School ~ they were SO EXCITED! Congratulations, Pat!!!

  51. Of course, I’d love to win a copy for my second graders at school. I love Sophie and her squash. So happy for your success with this cute little kid and her favorite garden produce!

  52. Congratulations Pat! Can’t wait to read your new book!

  53. Congratulations, Pat! I love that you dedicated this book to your grandfather!

  54. Already recommending to many who come to my library ?

  55. Congratulations. Pat! So interesting to hear the behind the scenes story.

  56. Loved reading your post!

  57. I’m so looking forward to this book and THANK YOU so much for letting us know that there are two squash so it’s not a typo! I knew it couldn’t be, but somehow I was thinking it must be baby talk (Like “kitty go to school”). It’s been bugging me for weeks! Great to read the post!!

  58. I love the background story. I base many of my stories on family, too. I try to include at least one family member’s name in each one. Looking forward to reading your new book.

  59. I love how so many details of the book relate to your real life experiences! Thank you for sharing!

  60. Huge congrats, Pat, on a lovely sequel to a lovely book!

  61. This is lovely! Congratulations!

  62. I loved LOVED Sophie’s Squash and I can’t wait to read the sequel! No doubt I’d like to win a signed copy 🙂 Congrats, Pat!

  63. I’m excited about this one, too!

  64. Very cool that you worked so many personal details into Sophie’s sequel!

  65. I am excited to read this! Thanks for the post!

  66. Thanks! I loved Sophie’s Squash!

  67. Congratulations, Pat–it looks like another charmer! (And we can relate to the milk issue–my son refused to drink anything other than 2%.)

  68. Loved Sophie’s Squash and look forward to this one!

  69. Congrats, Pat on another adventure for Sophie!

  70. I love that you named the frog after your maternal grandfather. Great story idea too. The background details help because I want to include similar details in my stories. Now I know that it can be done.

  71. I loved the first story about Sophie, and I’m looking forward to reading the second one. Thanks for your 5 things; they were fun to read.

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