STARRED REVIEW
May 2020

Love, Sophia on the Moon

By Anica Mrose Rissi, illustrated by Mika Song
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The image on the title page of Love, Sophia on the Moon immediately establishes the story’s stakes. Sophia is in time-out for having broken a vase while playing rambunctiously inside the house. So she heads out the door, towing along her pink backpack and pet cat, having left behind a note for her mother: “I’m running away. . . . From now on, I live on the moon.” The note kicks off a flurry of communiques between mother and daughter in this tender, funny epistolary tale.

Spreads alternate between Sophia’s adventures on the moon with her new friend, a unicorn named Frurgbert, and her unperturbed mother at home, straightening up Sophia’s bedroom. Observant readers will spot clues in the room—such as a stuffed unicorn and a night light that projects stars onto the ceiling—that hint that Sophia’s journey may be more imaginative than astronautical. All the while, Sophia’s mother patiently reminds Sophia of the good things that await her, including her favorite bedtime story and homemade cookies, should she decide to return home.

Illustrator Mika Song conveys the ups and downs of Sophia’s interior world with soft, relaxed watercolors. Hand-lettered notes between mother and daughter add intimacy to their communication. 

With clear affection, author Anica Mrose Rissi (best known for her Anna, Banana series) captures the determination and obstinacy of children and the steady, unwavering love of a parent. In one of her letters, Sophia’s mother provides a memorable expression of this unconditional love: “Even when you’re mad, I love you to the moon.”

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Love, Sophia on the Moon

Love, Sophia on the Moon

By Anica Mrose Rissi, illustrated by Mika Song
Little, Brown
ISBN 9781368022859

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