HOME GROWN an excerpt from

12304 Santa Monica Blvd. 90025, Suite 301 /310.207.0222

HOME GROWN an excerpt from “Animal, Vegetable, Miracle” by Kingsolver/Hopp

Animal, Vegetable, Miracle – A Year of Food Life51PfhTR2k-L

THIS BOOK is a must read.

what is it about? Food as Medicine.

Taken from the dust jacket back cover: “Author Barbara Kingsolver and her family abandoned the industrial food pipeline to live a rural life- vowing that, for one year, they’d only buy food raised in their own neighborhood, grow it themselves, or learn to live without it.  Part memoire, part journalistic investigation, Animal, Vegetable, Miracle is an enthralling narrative that will open our eyes in a hundred new ways to an old truth: You are what you eat.”

Just for fun. here’s one excerpt, written by Steven L. Hopp, the author’s husband who in addition to being an author of essays, is also a teacher of environmentl studies at Emory and Henry College. It addresses a concern MANY of our Patients and online followers have regarding growing your own food…

“HOME GROWN

Oh sure, Barbara Kingsolver has forty acres and Mule (a donkey, actually). But how can someone like me participate in the spirit of growing things, when my apartment overlooks the freeway and other people’s windows?

How big is that spare bedroom? Just kidding. But even for people who live in urban areas (more than half our population), directly contributing to local food economies isn’t out of the question. Container gardening on porches, balconies, back steps, or even a sunny window can yield a surprising amount of sprouts, herbs, and even produce. Just a few tomato plants in big flowerpots can be surprisingly productive.

If you have any yard at all, part of it can become a garden. You can spade up the sunnniest part of it for seasonal vegetables, or go for the more understated option of using perennial edibles in your landscaping. Fruit, nut, citrus, or berry plants come in many attractive forms, with appropriate choices for every region of the country.

If you’re not a landowner, you can still find in most urban areas some opportunity to garden. Many community-supported agriculture (CSA) operations allow or even require subscribers to participate on their farms; they might even offer a work-for-food arrangement. Most urban areas also host community gardens, using various organizational protocols – a widespread practice in European cities that has taken root here. Some rent garden spaces to the first comers; others provide free space for neighborhood residents. Some are organized and run by volunteers for some specific goal, such as supplying food to a local school, while others accomodate special needs of disabled participants or at-risk youth. Information and locations can be found at the American Community Garden Association site: www.communitygarden.org.”

If you are interested in reading this fantastic book (and we suggest you do), you can find it here:

https://www.amazon.com/Animal-Vegetable-Miracle-Year-Food/dp/0060852569/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1471453919&sr=8-1&keywords=animal+vegetable+miracle

~ Coby Dahlstrom

for
Dr. Eric P. Dahlstrom, D.C., L.Ac.
Santa Monica Healing Arts

 

Providing Integrated Alternative Medicine in Santa Monica since 1999 (http://santamonicahealingarts.com). Check out our 5-star Review on Yelp (http://www.yelp.com/biz/santa-monica-healing-arts-santa-monica) or find us on facebook (https://www.facebook.com/pages/Santa-Monica-Healing-Arts)
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Laissez les bons temps rouler! Lent starts tomorrow…

By John Copeland for SMHA

th-1Today is known as Fat Tuesday, Shrove Tuesday and Carnival, all traditional names for the day before Ash Wednesday, the first day of Lent. It is more commonly known as Mardi Gras, which is simply Fat Tuesday in French. No matter what its name is, the day before Ash Wednesday has long been a time for eating and merry making.

 Fat Tuesday is a Christian holiday, is also known as Carnival and is celebrated in many countries around the world, mainly those with large Roman Catholic populations, on the day before the religious season of Lent begins.  Today, Brazil, Venice and New Orleans play host to the holiday’s most famous public festivities, drawing thousands of tourists and revelers every year.

Ash Wednesday, which is tomorrow, marks the start of Lent, the six weeks directly before Easter.  The forty day Lenten period is observed by many Christians with fasting and penitential practices. Traditionally during Lent, no parties or other celebrations are held, and people refrain from eating rich foods, such as meat, dairy, fats and sugar. These forty days of Lent, recall the Gospel accounts of the forty days Jesus spent in the wilderness, serve to mark an annual time of turning.

 Traditionally, in the days leading up to Lent, merrymakers would binge on all the meat, eggs, milk and cheese that remained in their homes.  Fat Tuesday was traditionally a time to use up all the milk, butter and eggs left in the kitchen. These ingredients were often used to make pancakes, which is why in spots of the globe it is still called Pancake Day.th-6


Across the globe, pre-Lenten festivals continue to be held in many countries with significant Roman Catholic populations. Brazil’s weeklong Carnival festivities feature a vibrant amalgam of European, African and native traditions.  In Canada, Quebec City hosts the giant Quebec Winter Carnival.  In Italy, tourists flock to Venice’s Carnevale, which dates back to the 13th century and is famous for its masquerade balls.  Known as Karneval, Fastnacht or Fasching, the German celebration includes parades, costume balls and a tradition that empowers women to cut off men’s ties.

According to historians, Mardi Gras actually dates back thousands of years and is related to pagan celebrations of spring and fertility, including the raucous Roman festival of Lupercalia. When Christianity became nascent in Rome, the early church leaders incorporated many of the  popular pagan traditions, an easier task than abolishing them altogether, as a prelude to Lent, the 40 days of penance between Ash Wednesday and Easter Sunday.th

The word Carnival is actually rooted in these celebrations.  Although its origin is disputed, as are many things in the past, folk etymologies exist which state that Carnival comes from the Late Latin expression “carne vale,” which means “farewell to meat”, signifying that these are the last days when one could eat meat before the fasting of Lent. The word “carne” can also be translated as “flesh,” suggesting “carne vale” as “a farewell to the flesh,” a meaning enthusiastically embraced by some Carnival celebrants who encourage embracing the carefree nature of the festival.

Some of the best-known traditions, including carnival parades and masquerade ball masquerading, were first recorded in medieval Italy. The carnival of Venice was, for a long time, the most famous carnival. From Italy, carnival traditions spread to the Catholic nations of Spain, Portugal, and France. From France, they spread to the Rhineland of Germany, and to New France in North America. From Spain and Portugal, they spread with Catholic colonization to the Caribbean and Latin America.

Many historians believe that the first American Mardi Gras took place on March 3, 1699, when the French explorers Iberville and Bienville landed south of the holiday’s future American epicenter: New Orleans. They held a small celebration and dubbed the spot Point du Mardi Gras. Mardi Gras was observed in Mobile, Alabama, by French soldiers when it was a still a colony of France in 1703. In the decades that followed, New Orleans and other French settlements began marking the holiday with street parties, masked balls and lavish dinners.  When the Spanish took control of New Orleans, however, they abolished these rowdy festivities, and the bans remained in force until Louisiana became part of the United States in 1812.th-2


On Mardi Gras in 1827, a group of students donned colorful costumes and danced through the streets of New Orleans, emulating the revelry they’d observed while visiting Paris. Ten years later, the first recorded New Orleans Mardi Gras parade took place, a tradition that continues to this day. In 1840 the Cowbellion de Rakin Society, a Mobile organizations journeyed to New Orleans to the secret society of New Orleans businessmen called the Mistick Krewe of Comus organize a torch-lit Mardi Gras procession with marching bands and rolling floats, setting the tone for future public celebrations in the city. Since then, krewes have remained a fixture of the Carnival scene throughout Louisiana. The event was well received and continued until it was suspended during the American Civil War. Mardi Gras was one of the first local institutions to be revived after the war. It reappeared in 1866 and has continued to grow in modern times.
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Today, traditional Mardi Gras parades in New Orleans spotlight the King of the Carnival and the Monarch of Merriment, as well as Comus, the God of Revelry. Many people dress up in eye-catching costumes and a spectacular ball is held. Debutantes are introduced at the Ball Tablaeu in their formal introduction to society.

People throw trinkets to crowds as part of the customary “parade throw” at New Orleans’ Mardi Gras celebration. During the Bacchus parade, the king’s float throws doubloons with the image of the “Celebrity King” on one side of the doubloon (cups and toy coins) to parade watchers. Traditional Mardi Gras food includes the King Cake in which a pecan or charm is hidden. The person who gets a piece of the cake with the charm or nut is dubbed the “king” of that year’s Mardi Gras.

Louisiana is the only state in which Mardi Gras is a legal holiday. However, elaborate carnival festivities draw crowds in other parts of the United States during the Mardi Gras season as well, including Alabama and Mississippi. Each region has its own events and traditions.

 

Mardi Gras festivities are particularly colorful in French cities such as Cannes, Grasse, and Nice. Celebrations feature grand parades of flower covered floats with giant figures. People are dressed in costumes and confetti is thrown as an expression of merriment or joy.  A grotesque effigy that represents evil is burned at the end of the day.


It is also traditional in many parts of France to eat a large meal that includes crepes or waffles. Some people in the United Kingdom celebrate the day, known as Pancake Day, with games and races that involve tossing pancakes in the air. People in some parts of northern Sweden eat a meat stew on Shrove Tuesday, while those in the south eat “Shrove Tuesday buns” called semlor, which are filled with almond paste and topped with whipped cream.
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Today, is a the time to party it up, and…Eat! Happy Mardi Gras!
 
_________________________
by
John Copeland
Rancho Olivos
2390 N. Refugio Rd.
Santa Ynez, CA 93460

www.ranchoolivos.com
_________________________
for
Dr. Eric P. Dahlstrom, D.C., L.Ac.
Santa Monica Healing Arts
Providing Integrated Alternative Medicine in Santa Monica since 1999 (http://santamonicahealingarts.com). Check out our 5-star Review on Yelp (http://www.yelp.com/biz/santa-monica-healing-arts-santa-monica) or find us on facebook (https://www.facebook.com/pages/Santa-Monica-Healing-Arts)
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Happy New Year! Gong Hey Fat Choy!

th-1By John Copeland for SMHA:

Happy New Year, again!  In 2016, we celebrated New Years on January 1st and this past Sunday, February 8th, it was New Years once again – Chinese New Year, also called the Lunar New Year.  It is the longest and most important celebration in the Chinese calendar.  Only, in much of Asia it is not 2016, according to the Chinese calendar it is the year 4715.

About one sixth of the people on our planet are celebrating New Years over the next several days.  In cities, towns and villages across China, one-fifth of the world’s population is welcoming the Year of the Monkey.  It is the biggest festival of the year in China, and many other Asian nations. Taiwan, Bhutan, Korea, Hong Kong, Macau, Indonesia, Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Vietnam, Philippines, Japan all celebrate the Lunar New Year.
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The Lunar New Year is based on the ancient Chinese lunar calendar, and it falls on the second new moon after winter solstice – somewhere between 21 January and 19 February, so unlike January 1st, the date of the Lunar New Year changes from year to year.

Although China has used the Gregorian calendar since 1912, the lunisolar calendar continues to be used to mark traditional holidays such as the New Year and the fall moon festival. It’s also used astrologically to select favorable dates for weddings and other special events.

The Lunar New Year has the longest chronological record in history, dating from 2697 BCE, when the Chinese Emperor Huang Ti introduced the first cycle of the zodiac. The Chinese calendar is based on a complex lunisolar calendar system that uses both lunar and solar cycles to mark time. And there are several different symbolic cycles within the calendar, used in Chinese astrology, that make it an intricate and complex measurement of time.

The Lunar New Year is based strictly on astronomical observations, and has nothing to do with the Pope, emperors, animals or myths. Due to its scientific and mathematical nature, the Chinese calendar allows us to easily and precisely calculate backward or forward for thousands of years.
th-3

This system is extremely practical. A child does not have to learn a new answer to the question, “How old are you?” in each new year. Old people often lose track of their age, because they are rarely asked about their present age. Every one just has to remember that he or she was born in the “Year of the Dog” or whatever.

The Chinese Lunar Calendar names each of the twelve years after an animal. Legend has it that Buddha summoned all the animals to come to him before he died. Only twelve came to bid him farewell and as a reward he named a year after each one in the order they arrived. The Chinese believe the animal ruling the year in which a person is born has a profound influence on personality, saying: “This is the animal that hides in your heart.” 2016 is the Year of the Monkey.  The Red Fire Monkey to be exact.

The monkey is intelligent, smart, wise, curious, energetic, impulsive, inventive, hyperactive, cheeky, strong-minded and vigilant. Red monkeys are problem solvers and work well within group environments, while retaining their individuality.  The monkey, like all things, has a shadow side, which can bring out infidelity and trust issues.12705210_10207604168838983_3903590007763715836_n
Like any fresh start of a year, questions abound about wealth, health and matters of the heart.

For many in China, Feng Shui masters with their astrological readings and predictions are merely a fun activity to pass the time. But for the superstitious, horoscope experts provide important guidance for the coming year.

The Year of the Monkey runs from February 8th, 2016 until January 27th, 2017, and this year, people who are born under the sign of the rabbit, snake, ox, rooster and rat will have the best luck out of all of the animal signs. More women will be in power this year, but all signs must be vigilant about health issues and potential accidents.

The Lunar New Year is a time of family reunion. Family members gather at each other’s homes for visits and shared meals, most significantly a feast on New Year’s Eve.  At Chinese New Year celebrations people wear red clothes, decorate with poems on red paper, and give children “lucky money” in red envelopes. Red symbolizes fire, which according to legend can drive away bad luck. The fireworks, which are being forgone in most of China this year because of air pollution are rooted in a similar ancient custom. In ancient times, people in China lit bamboo stalks, believing that the crackling flames would frighten evil spirits.
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And to finish up, how did the Chinese Zodiac become named after animals?  Well, tradition says that the Jade Emperor, or Emperor of Heaven summoned all the animals of the Earth, and he gave a year to each of the first 12 animals to arrive.

When the cat heard the news, he told rat about it and the two animals decided to go together the next day. However, the next morning the rat did not wake up the cat. Therefore, the cat could not make it to the gathering on time and did not get a year. This is why there is no year of the cat and is the reason why cats hunt rats.

Still, the rat made it first to the assembly and received the first year. The Year of the Rat is the start of the Chinese Zodiac Cycle – which repeats every 12 years. The rat used a lot of trickery to arrive first. He tricked the ox to let him ride on its head. The ox agreed and they went together. Just when they were about to reach to the assembly the clever rat jumped off the ox’s head and passed through the entrance gate first. The Ox was second followed by the Tiger and the Rabbit.th-4

The Dragon, even though it was the largest, fastest and most powerful animal of creation, arrived fifth because it stopped along the way to make rain for the farmers and to help the Rabbit cross the river that all animals had to cross to arrive at the Emperor’s palace.

The Dragon was follow by the Snake, the Horse, the Sheep, the Monkey, the Rooster, the Dog and the Pig.

But only twelve animals came to offer Buddha farewell and as a token of appreciation he named a year after each of the twelve animals in the order they arrived. In this way each year got linked with an animal. People born in that year are believed to share different traits.

The Year of the Monkey has arrived. So welcome the Monkey and have a very prosperous New Year ahead.
 th-5
Happy New Year.
Gong Xi Fa Cai (Mandarin)
Gong Hey Fat Choy (Cantonese)
_______________
by
John Copeland
Rancho Olivos
2390 N. Refugio Rd.
Santa Ynez, CA 93460
www.ranchoolivos.com
_______________

for

Dr. Eric P. Dahlstrom, D.C., L.Ac.
Santa Monica Healing Arts
Providing Integrated Alternative Medicine in Santa Monica since 1999 (http://santamonicahealingarts.com). Check out our 5-star Review on Yelp (http://www.yelp.com/biz/santa-monica-healing-arts-santa-monica) or find us on facebook (https://www.facebook.com/pages/Santa-Monica-Healing-Arts)
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“The Whole Kit & Caboodle” for Kentwood ~ Sponsored by Dr. Eric

 

UnknownSo do you guys know what lateral thinking is? Have you heard of project-based learning? You may have recently, especially if you have a student in LAUSD as the new Common Core standards are trying to encompass a bit more of it.  Well, just for fun here’s the definition::

“Lateral thinking is solving problems through an indirect and creative approach, using reasoning that is not immediately obvious and involving ideas that may not be obtainable by using only traditional step-by-step logic. The term was coined in 1967 by Edward de Bono.”pimr

If any of you have visited Dr. Eric for help solving a problem that as it turns out, is not straight chiropractic, or if you’ve been there for a headache for example, and walked away with a saliva test kit and two bottles from Standard Process, then you know kinda what I mean.

Dr. Eric likes to use integrated alternative therapies to find the root cause of a person’s dis-ease. He’s not one to rack and crack, and he’s not a big fan of band-aids (metaphorically speaking). He likes to find the ROOT cause of your pain and works to put you back in balance, homeostasis. Often this requires a lot of lateral thinking. That’s one of the reasons why he is good at what he does.  He thinks outside the box – the box of most Western Medicine – and he can help you heal.10984159_10204528413145241_5732512652723273381_n

 

Another thing that Dr. Eric does is sponsor #minimrsdrdahl’s school garden. Which helps to foster the same thing: Lateral learning. That way the kids get the whole kit and caboodle too. Literally. Nutrition, sure, gardening, agriculture, sure, but also history, science, literature, math, social studies, art, homemaking, vocabulary, and even sex-ed.

Today for example, was a red letter day in the Kentwood School garden.

8 months ago, in March, Kentwood kids planted butternut squash seeds. Students visited their budding seedlings during recess most days and watered them as they grew.  Over the summer, our PTO-sponsored drip watering system fed those plants as they turned into vines.  Upon our return in August, they were growing like mad, flowering, and had some small squash beginning. By Fall, those squash were ready to pick.10955207_10204579795429766_4143826007299995770_n

Last year, Dr. Eric was the one who figured that the school, and students would best benefit if we preserved the fruits of their labor, especially over the summer. Luckily, I’m good at canning. And Dr. Eric, ever the one for linguistic puns, coined the term “Koala Food” (the school mascot is Kenny the Koala).  We will be selling the finished products this coming spring, in our silent auction at Family Fun Day. All organic, kid-grown, school garden produce and recipes. So far, we have at least two dozen jars put up.10313056_10204579709067607_3056720641652066879_n

Recently, our wonderful school librarian approached me. She had thought of me, she said, when she read a darling book called “Sophie’s Squash” (Pat Zietlow Miller & Anne Wilsdorf). The story is about a little girl who thinks a butternut squash is so neat, she decides to make it her new toy.  She draws a face on it and takes it with her everywhere just like a baby doll; She cannot be swayed to eat it or switch it out for another toy.  When the squash starts to finally get soft, she consults the farmers market…they tell her to tuck it away in a bed of soil and give it lots of water and it will be happy.  The next season, she visits her squash-friend only to find that it has grown into a vine and has produced more baby squash. Delightful story.11159506_10204724049236021_2094583681756832266_n

“AWESOME!” I said. We just happen to have a butternut squash growing in the school garden right now! Our fantastic librarian went on to approach the fabulous 3rd grade teachers, who’s science unit this year covers seeds and planting. I mentioned that I had recently made “Koala Food” butternut squash soup that they could taste too! And it all fell into place.

Today, 8 months of work came to fruition. I witnessed first hand, the reasons why I do what I do. Why Dr. Eric spends his weekends toiling in the school garden.

So. much. learned. (with only 15 minutes per class!)11060042_10205786786003776_2051472937121527132_n

The 3rd graders and I talked about seasons, the Fall and what that means, what holidays happen in the Autumn, what foods they associate with those holidays. We discussed how butternut squash is similar to pumpkin moreso than zucchini, and how one butternut squash varietal differs from another. I showed them three different kinds of butternut squash.  They recognized the similarity when comparing themselves with their classmates: all human, all kids, all the same, but different – different colors, different shapes, different sizes. Fun new adjectives were used to describe the differences (of the fruits): oblong, bulbous, knobby, smooth, oval, orange, golden, big, giant, petite, graceful, curvy. We learned the meaning of “heirloom,” which like their family’s collectibles or finery, is a very special, handed-down-through-generations seed type that isn’t usually available in standard grocery stores. They recognized thusly the importance of supporting local family farms and supporting their local farmer’s market. 11137164_10205656077856154_2385955535524519663_n

In the eating of the recipe itself, the students had an opportunity to enhance the dimension of their learning.  Sensory appreciations: taste, texture, sweet, salty…”In the soup are apples, onions, sage, cinammon, can you taste them?” I asked. “Can you smell the cinammon?” We passed around fresh sage…doesn’t it complement the flavor of the squash to have a fresh leaf on top? what does the flavor remind you of? It’s a bit like pumpkin pie but not as sweet…do you know the word savory?”11033976_10205733629514897_271465502817944093_n
I asked them questions that made them think or recognize things they might very well have known but never connected. Did they know that butternut squash originated in Mexico? Or that it was cultivated by Native Americans? I asked them if they had any family recipes that were their family’s “heirlooms.” What other vegetables are orange? what makes them so? Betacarotene I told them.  Its good for eyesight. That squash contains a whole alphabet of vitamins: A,B,C, iron, potassium, zinc, and that those things are anti-oxidants that help reduce risk of cancer, cholesterol, high blood pressure, heart attack, and stroke – in short, keep you healthy and happy. The seeds contain tryptophan which is used by your body to help your brain. These orange fruits of fall are excellent for your eyes, and more importantly, your hearts and your brains. Perhaps this is another reason why Sophie chose the squash as her friend? Because what is better for your heart or brain than a really good friend? Or your favorite toy? And to remind them daily, the Librarian will keep the garden-fresh butternut squash in the library, wearing its drawn-on happy face, just like Sophie’s.10420118_10205740252080457_7810252065439398266_n

After we tasted the soup, we walked into the garden and saw another squash growing, and other fall fruits, pumpkins and zucchini. The kids noticed the squash blossoms so we talked about these flowers being either male or female and how the plant needs both sexes living happily side by side in order to grow the fruits. The children surmised that it was, of course, the female flowers that grew the squash. Some of them had eaten stuffed squash blossoms before, filled with Mexican (Queso Fresco), French (Chèvre), Greek (Feta), or Italian (Mozzarella) cheese. If they dared, we tasted the leaves too, which are likewise edible, good for you and can even be used in stir-fry, salads, or instead of tortillas for wraps.11954587_10205781085461266_484969480295904598_n

The kids, if interested, will take home the recipe, allowing them to practice at home both the culinary arts, as well as their math (measurement) skills.  Their teachers will dispearse seeds from one of our school-grown squashes and they will grow their own plants, eventually transplanting them, once again, into the school garden. I am hoping they will talk about this with their families which will in turn foster a growing interest in vegetables and eating well. Perhaps, come spring, they will encourage their parents to bid on the Koala Food items in the silent auction, again encouraging health and wellness at home, as well as providing funding for next year’s school garden.10430458_10205741092701472_4669364781077671490_n

There are lots of expressions that come to mind to describe an experience so all encompassing.  The whole kit and caboodle is one.  Going the whole nine yards is another.  The whole shebang.  Going whole hog, going all in…the list goes on. But it is EVERYTHING.

Days spent like this at school are FUN. Learning like this will motivate these kids to grow into future doctors, scientists, farmers, writers, artists, healers, problem solvers. When they grow up, I hope they make a difference in this world…help us find some balance. And, I sure hope they will be as good at what what they do as Dr. Eric is at what HE does. safe_image.php

Oh, and in case you are FIRED up to try the recipe, this is the one that I loosely followed: http://www.chowhound.com/recipes/roasted-butternut-squash-soup-30466

If you’d like to read the darling book: http://www.amazon.com/Sophies-Squash-Pat-Zietlow-Miller/dp/0307978966

Bon Appetite!

Coby Dahlstrom (aka #mrsdrdahl)

for

Dr. Eric P. Dahlstrom, D.C., L.Ac.
Santa Monica Healing Arts3rd grade

Providing Integrated Alternative Therapies, Chiropractic Care, and Acupuncture in Santa Monica since 1999 (http://santamonicahealingarts.com). Check out our 5-star Review on Yelp (http://www.yelp.com/biz/santa-monica-healing-arts-santa-monica) or find us on facebook (https://www.facebook.com/pages/Santa-Monica-Healing-Arts)

~ follow us on20151019_142541

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Sophie’s Squash is the reipient of a number award for children’s literature: 

Booklist Books for Youth Editors’ Choice-WINNER

Golden Kite Award for Fiction-WINNER

School Library Journal Best Book of the Year-WINNER

Children’s Book Committee at Bank Street College Children’s Book of the Year-SELECTION 2014

Charlotte Zolotow Award-HONOR 2014

Ezra Jack Keats New Writer/Illustrator Award-HONOR 2014