Mentor Text Monday: One Word from Sophia

Writing for Children Blog
February 8, 2016

What writers and illustrators can learn from…



How to...

* craft a character-driven storyline.

* create characters that sing, each in their own unique way!

* channel originality through voice, making a statement in both pictures and words.

* maximize read aloud potential giving way for an encore performance.

* infuse rich vocabulary.

* unite a diverse audience.


There's one word for One Word from Sophia: VOICE. Sophia is so sophisticated that her voice carries each of her loved ones voices- each distinct and true. It is clear that her parents, uncle, and Grandmama have influenced her. She is one interesting character-driven kid because of her educated voice, which sets the tone for the whole story. Despite her intellect, the scale and style of the illustrations, along with her desire, all point fingers back to her kid-centric world. When a character has this much voice it transforms into the best kind of read aloud- a performance. Performances cry, "encore!" and bring the readers back for multiple rereads. I loved the irony of the title, One Word from Sophia, and how it relates to the MANY outstanding vocabulary words in the story: verbose, effusive, loquacious among many others...not just one word at all! With so many stories out there about kids who wan tpets, it's amazing that one can still stand out from the pack. But, this books does it for sure! (Bonus: Sophia is from a blended family. We need diverse books!)


Carrie on mentoring,



Carrie Charley Brown is the founder and co-coordinator of ReFoReMo, or Reading for Research Month, a research challenge and blog focused on mentor texts for picture book writers. She eats, sleeps, and breathes KidLit as a picture book writer, CYBILS panelist, and RegionalAdvisor for SCBWI North Texas.

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