'The best books, reviewed with insight and charm, but without compromise.'
- author Jackie French

Wednesday, 17 January 2018

Review: Sam: The Most Scaredy-Cat Kid in the Whole World

Oh how I relish the first viewing of a Mo Willems title - his books are delightful, often charming, always hilarious and so deliciously odd.

Characters do not always act as expected and it is an adventure to read through each new offering that Mo presents, and repeat readings are always must - he is the top of my recommendations list when patrons ask for my assistance at the library.

In this sequel to Leonardo the Terrible Monster (KBR Review here), we learn a bit more about Leonardo's friend Sam who as the title suggests, is the most scaredy-cat kid in the whole world. Sam is scared of absolutely everything, well everything except for Leonardo of course, because Leonardo and Sam are very good friends.

While Sam is scared of absolutely everything, he is most particularly frightened upon meeting a little girl called Kerry and her friend, a monster named Frankenthaler.

It is not the monster that he is afraid of though, but Kerry herself. And Kerry, being the second most scaredy-cat kid in the whole world, is as equally afraid of Sam. They yell, they shriek, they fall over, in fact they carry on so much, despite the monsters reassurances, that the only thing left for their monsters friends to do is to walk away and let the two kids figure it out for themselves.

I was so delighted by this outcome, being the parent of two small children who have recently discovered the joys and miseries of taking turns to emotionally torment each other, "sort it out guys" has become a sort of parenting mantra in my home.

And sort it out they do. Once all the shrieking, fall over and face pulling is out of the way, Kerry and Sam discover they have quite a lot of things in common, and a few things uncommon, and while neither child changes their scaredy-cat selves, they do both make the very brave decision to make a new friend.

This book will have great appeal to parents and kids alike, and I think will offer comfort and gentle encouragement to those of us who may be a little more cautious, a little more anxious or a little more scared in life than most.

Title: Sam: The Most Scaredy-Cat Kid in the Whole World
Author/Illustrator: Mo Willems
Publisher: Walker Books, $16.99
Publication Date: 1 September 2017
Format: Paperback
ISBN: 9781406379631
For ages: 3-9
Type: Picture Book

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