Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Children's Book Review, Sam the Cat

Here's a lovely children's picture book! Sam the Cat was written by Sam Bowring, illustrated by Andrew Mclean and published by Working Title Press (distributed by Penguin) 2012.

Sam lives very happily in a tumbledown house with Jane and Ian. But when Jane and Ian bring home a baby boy, not only does the baby get all the attention – he even steals Sam's name!

Bowring really knows cats. So does illustrator, Andrew McLean. Adult readers and child listeners alike will recognise and enjoy Sam the cat's personality. He thinks of himself as Lord Strongtail, Master of the House and Sir Ratcatcher the Brave. Sam really doesn't appreciate the new baby taking over. So much so, that he leaves home. Despite trials and tribulations, Sam enjoys a happy ending - or should that be Captain Boldwhisker, Explorer Extraordinaire enjoys a happy ending? I enjoyed Bowring's writing style - lots of simple sentences that are easy to follow, interspersed with the occasional gem to make us think, and plenty of giggles along the way. The book is actually based on the true story of how Bowring himself was given the name Sam.

I've reviewed a McLean book before - he illustrated Let's Go, Baby-o! He really captures Sam's inner thoughts beautifully, combining pen, ink and watercolour to great effect.

Check out the Working Title Press website for Teacher Notes based on this children's picture book. I believe it makes a great choice for school or home, and perfect for classrooms where kids are discussing pets.

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