Tag Archives: Pat Zietlow Miller

Wherever You Go

Wherever You Go
By Pat Zietlow Miller, Illustrated by Eliza Wheeler
Little Brown and Company, 2015

An award winning writer and illustrator invite adventurers to take to the road and follow their dreams.

Using the road as a metaphor, author Pat Zietlow Miller invites us to follow our dreams and embark upon life’s adventure.  Whether we choose roads through country sides, rivers, bays, forests, mountains, or cities, all roads offer sites to explore.  Along the way we will encounter detours, choices, and unexpected connections that provide new people to meet and things to explore.  And, at the end of our adventure, when we think of home, the road returns us to where we belong.

Wherever You Go’s warm illustrations call to be enjoyed.  From the cover where we can almost feel the warm breeze on our face, to the behind-the-scene stories not told in the text, artist Eliza Wheeler enriches the adventure.  We follow rabbit and owl helping others along the way, carrying a boat and travelers for a short distance,  and packing their bike and belongings and joining others in their van, sharing in life’s joys. With trees on the move, bustling winds, and streaming waters there’s something to enjoy on every page.

Want to know more about how a picture book comes to be?
After a manuscript has been accepted by a publisher, a typical picture book takes “two years” to be published.  It’s a complex—creative—process often telling two’ stories, one in words and one in illustrations.  When you read Wherever You Go, it all seems like one beautiful  story, but when you start comparing the words against the illustrations, you’ll soon see the illustrations tell their own story.  Rabbit and Owl are never mentioned in the words.  Picking up others on their journey and joining others in the van are not written, but pulling the two stories into one provides an enriching story that communicates to readers through many senses, addresses many needs, and—in  this book—inspires many dreams.

Take a peek at the fascinating road Eliza Wheeler took to create her illustrations and the inspiring road Pat Zietlow Miller followed to write her story.

Read more reviews on Amazon.

Sophie’s Squash
By Pat Zietlow Miller, illustrated by Anne Wilsdorf
Schwartz & Wade Books, 2013
Ezra Jack Keats New Writer Honor
Charlotte Zolotow Honor book

Sophie repurposes a squash meant for dinner as her new friend.  It’s just the right size for her to hold.  Soon she dresses it, plays with it and names it Bernice.  Her patient parents point out the squash will turn bad, but loyal Sophie refuses to give up her friend.  Eventually her other friends ridicule the ‘squash with freckles’.  She returns to the market and asks the farmer what will keep a squash healthy.  “Fresh air.  Good, clean dirt. A little love.”  She returns home and buries her squash in good clean dirt.  The next day a snow blanket comforts her squash.  Winter passes and in the spring, Sophie spots a small green sprout, strangely familiar.  Each day she eats lunch by Bernice who has grown into a plant, until one day she discovers hidden beneath its leaves two tiny squash.  “You look just like your mom!” she declares. When they are just the right size to love, she makes them her friends.

There is something irresistible about Sophie’s Squash.  A child’s innocence and imagination using real foods, combined with her loyalty and creativity makes this story work on many levels.  There are several reports of girls adopting their own squash.

Check more reviews on Amazon