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One Word from Sophia

(Sophia #1)

3.96  ·  Rating details ·  1,047 ratings  ·  252 reviews
Sophia tries varied techniques to get the giraffe she wants more than anything in this playfully illustrated 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 i
Hardcover, 40 pages
Published June 16th 2015 by Atheneum Books for Young Readers
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Average rating 3.96  · 
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 ·  1,047 ratings  ·  252 reviews

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Maggie Mattmiller
Jan 09, 2016 rated it did not like it
Cute idea, but probably not one I would use in my classroom. I guess it highlights the value of the word please (and thank you!), but I hate the attitude that she should talk less, and her presentations are too much/too long. Come on! If a child really went through all the trouble to gear a presentation to an adults interest/career, and created not only a speech but charts/Powerpoint/etc, wow! I would want young readers to see that when you put forth that kind of effort, adults/anyone will reall ...more
Carrie Charley Brown
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 Grand-mama 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 ha ...more
Apr 13, 2016 rated it did not like it
I could give this more stars for the illustrations (which are ADORABLE), but the story is 1-star for me, all the way. First off, I struggle to see who the target audience is; The text is so wordy and advanced, especially when paired with the very simple/young illustrations. Secondly, the whole "moral" of the story is very weird to me. I guess it's trying to highlight the importance of saying "please" and "thank you", but the whole story revolves around adults shutting down this girl for giving w ...more
Henry Martin
Jun 09, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: children-s-books
This was a fun little story to read aloud. Sophia wants a giraffe for her birthday, and she is determined to make her case. Unfortunately, in her way stand four obstacles:

Her mother - the judge
Her father - the businessman
Her uncle - the politician
Her grand-mama - the strict one

As Sophia begins to plead her case with a very eloquent speech, each person looks at it from his/her own viewpoint, influenced by his/her profession.

A fun read indeed.
Skye Kilaen
This book! Y'all! Just stop whatever you're doing and read this book. You won't be sorry. There's something for everyone in this book: a multi-racial family, a strong girl character, a compelling slideshow, public opinion polling, big words, a tutu, and some great hair. The girl is Sophia, who has a deep, desperate yearning for a pet giraffe. It's her One True Desire. Her birthday's coming up. She's thought of all the angles... but none of them are working on her family. What's she going to do?! ...more
Carrie Gelson
A great lesson in persuasion! Loved so much about this title!
Jan 26, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I laughed all the way through this book. Sophia is a wonderfully delightful character; so full of hopes and dreams, and quite resourceful in the ways in which she tells her mother, father, uncle, and grandmother what her one true desire is for her birthday, namely a giraffe. They are a hard bunch to win over. Mom is a judge, dad is a businessman, uncle a politician, and grandma a strict disciplinarian. Sophia comes up with a different strategy to plead her case to each of them, each one more cre ...more
Delightful, charming, precious, funny, cute...
Poor Sophia!
She works so hard and nobody cares.
If only she could have employed the lazy but standard kid begging practice from the start.

So the takeaway message (for me. It should not be the takeaway message for the children who hear this book read aloud to them) is that adults are jerks and they really would prefer children not be heard at all. Unless you're using your manner words, you can just shut up, smart kids. Keep those brilliant little yappers shut.

Sophia, you can come live at my house.
Laura Harrison
Apr 25, 2015 rated it really liked it
I adore the illustrator. One of my fairly new fav's. Vibrant and lavish illustrations with a funny tale. My only complaint with picture books these days is the text is getting shorter and shorter overall. But this book is too wordy. It should have been created as a chapter book. The more ideal way to go with this story. ...more
Whitney Rachel
I'm not entirely sure who the intended audience is as the illustrations are VERY juvenile while the text is pretty advanced.

I still liked it though, mainly because I too want a pet giraffe for my birthday.
Jul 15, 2020 rated it really liked it
This is a delightful picture book that has lots of very rich language, a diverse cast of characters, appealing illustrations, and a cute story. It tells the story of Sophia, who very much wants a giraffe for her birthday, and who crafts various ways to convince her family members of her case. She presents a legal argument to her judge mother, a business plan to her businessman father, and polling data to her politician uncle (she just tries to butter up her grandma). This book could be used in t ...more
Sep 11, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: picture-books
I loved this book-it had strong characters for the protagonist to emulate and it taught some big words and even had the definitions of those words in the back. I can see this book being used for a vocabulary lesson, for manners, persuasion and the list goes on and on. I will definitely be recommending this book to lots of teachers!
Jan 25, 2018 rated it really liked it
Very cute - the little girl wants a giraffe and uses different strategies to convince her family members. Lots of great vocabulary words, math concepts (charts/graphs), and a ordinary, positive depiction of a family of color.
Tammy Haberer
Feb 15, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I love this book. Sophia pleas to each parent and her grandma, trying to convince them she should have a giraffe as a pet. In her pleas, she is repeatedly told she is using too many words. I love how the book has a mini-glossary in the back for all the "hard words" she hears as responses from the adults. ...more
Taliah Mustafaa
Oct 11, 2015 rated it really liked it
The main character of the story is a little girl named Sophia. The little girl wanted a pet giraffe for her birthday. The girl listed her mother, who was a judge, Father, who was a businessman, Uncle Conrad, who was a politician, and Grand-mamá, who was very strict, as her four problems keeping her from getting her pet giraffe. In order to try to persuade each of her family members to get her the giraffe she tailored her argument to fit their profession. For her mother she presented her case and ...more
Ms. Arca
Oct 19, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I LOVE THIS BOOK!!! The character is funny, spunky, black (and has awesome big hair), and she has an incredible vocabulary. I love all of the tips on how to be persuasive. I will be coming back to this book time and time again as inspiration for writing persuasive pieces AND for infusing my writing with fantastic vocabulary.

This is a new favorite of mine for so so so many reasons.

(I also love that she wants a pet giraffe! It gives me hope for my future grumpy cat and hedgehog ownership!).
Oh, this is smart. Sophia pleads her case for a pet giraffe using a variety of persuasive techniques, tailored to the particular temperament and values of each decision-making stakeholder in her family.

Except it's fun, and not horrible like I just made it sound. Think Emma Stone talking her parents into letting her move to Hollywood with a PowerPoint.

And experienced picture book readers will guess what that "one word" is going to be!
Sep 08, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I loved this book!

Sophia was great--she had such wonderful movement and expressions.

All she wants is a giraffe for her birthday and she uses all her best arguments and tailors each argument to each individual person in her family.

I also loved that there were some nice long words in the story (with helpful definitions in the back of the book!)

Does she ever get her giraffe? You have to read and find out!!
Margo Tanenbaum
Feb 17, 2016 rated it really liked it
Very funny picture book for adults and older kids. Sophia (mixed-race child from multi-racial family) tries to make the case that she needs a giraffe for her birthday. She tailors each presentation to the member of the family that's listening, which includes a judge, businessman, politician, and a strict grandmother. Lots of advanced vocabulary, with a glossary in the back. The pictures are delightful, capturing a childlike enthusiasm and art style.
Miss Ferroni
This book is a great example to use when introducing children to persuasive texts.
Sophia tries to convince her family to get her a pet giraffe. She uses a variety of persuasive techniques and supports her reasons with examples, graphs, polls and research.
My class absolutely loved this text and used it as a mentor text to write their own persuasive pieces.
Ms Threlkeld
Sep 07, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: picture-books
The exquisite vocabulary bumped this book up to 4 stars. A cute story about a girl trying to persuade various family members that she should get a giraffe for her birthday. Kids will definitely relate!
Mary Ann
Sophie has only one wish for her birthday, One True Desire. A giraffe. With determination, whimsy and flair, she sets about persuading her mother, father, uncle and grandmother. A joyful story showing the power of the word please.
Jul 27, 2016 rated it really liked it
This could be a good book to place in a math/science classroom. Great book for teaching vocabulary. Also a good book for teaching argumentative writing. I also like the diversity of the family depicted in the story.
Edward Sullivan
Jun 12, 2015 rated it liked it
Quite the eloquent little girl and persuasive negotiator. Fun story for introducing big words to young children.
Becca Limberg
Jun 18, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Clever enough to make Mommy smile, with a lesson about "please" tucked in. Also, it featured a biracial family without making it the point of the story. ...more
Michele Knott
Jun 22, 2015 rated it really liked it
Really enjoyed this book about a clever girl who uses her resources to get what she wants. Little does she know it's one little word that everyone wants to hear. ...more
Jul 06, 2015 rated it really liked it
Words! So many great words! Including 3 words that mean "too many words." What a great vocabulary builder. Older Preschool or K kids will enjoy this. ...more
Aug 28, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Delightful children's picture book about the strength of words. Also features a mixed race child as a protagonist. ...more
Mary Lee
Great mentor text for persuasion/opinion!
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I was born and raised in the suburbs of Cincinnati, Ohio, a beautiful city built, like Rome, on seven hills-wooded hills of oak, walnut, and maple where I and my childhood imagination ran wild.

I enjoy throwing myself into situations which give me an opportunity to explore and grow. I joined the Peace Corps in my late twenties and went to live in Cameroon in western Africa for almost four years.

Other books in the series

Sophia (2 books)
  • Two Problems for Sophia

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