Title: Love, Sophia on the Moon
Author: Anica Mrose Rissi
Illustrator: Mika Song
Publisher: Disney Hyperion, 2020
Happy Book Birthday to Love, Sophia on the Moon!
Last November at NCTE, I was lucky enough to pick up an F&G of Love, Sophia on the Moon by Anica Mrose Rissi and Mika Song. It is one of my new favorites and would make a great mentor text for anyone using an exchange of letters as the structure of their story.
There are so many reasons to love this book. The story is told exclusively in letters Sophia writes to her mother and her mother’s responses. We learn quickly that Sophia is running away from home following a time-out she received as a consequence for breaking something. Totally relatable – what child hasn’t at least thought about running away? But Sophia isn’t running away to a friend’s house or Grandma’s house, she’s opted for the moon!
The letters exchanged between Sophia and her mom are humorous and full of heart:
“…If you see any cows on the moon, will you tell them they can sleep here? Love, Mom”
“Dear Mom, The cows say there are no bedtimes on the mooooooooon…We will stay up all night playing moonball and making messes…Love, Sophia
Throughout the course of the book we marvel not only at Sophia’s imaginative spirit but also the way in which the mother’s reactions help Sophia come around. The lovely illustrations complement the text and reveal even more about Sophia’s character.
The parallel structure accomplished through the letters brings us to the satisfying ending where Sophia and her mom reunite. Young readers will leave with a feeling of comfort, knowing that home will always be a safe place of love and forgiveness.
“Dear Sophia, Even when you’re mad, I love you to the moon. And I will love you all the way back…”
Love, Sophia on the Moon is fresh take on the ups and downs of learning about boundaries and unconditional love.