SAM'S BALL; SAM'S BATH; SAM'S LAMP by Barbro Lindgren
Kirkus Star


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If anything, this second batch of mini-dramas about scruffy tyke Sam is better than the first--Sam's Car, Sam's Cookie, and Sam's Teddy Bear (all 1982)--on which the very best of the new trio, Sam's Bath, builds. Again Lindgren begins, with primerese grandeur (and humor): ""Look, there's Sam. Look, there's Sam's tub."" Sam goes happily into the tub; and, in an orgy of possessiveness, Sam's ball, Sam's truck, Sam's teddy bear, and Sam's cookie all go into the tub too. But: ""Doggie is scared. Doggie does not like the tub."" Though he tries to slink away, Sam won't have it: ""Doggie must go into the tub."" Then each tumbles in--the last blissful picture is justly captioned, ""A bath is fun."" Sam's Ball, involving a conflict and reconciliation with Kitty, is more along the rumbustious lines of Sam's Car and Sam's Cookie (with some real violence and sneak-thievery that scrappy toddlers will appreciate). Sam's Lamp, in turn, perfectly dramatizes the way small fry personalize and blame objects. Spotting the ""pretty"" lamp, Sam climbs up ""on the stool. . . on the chair. . . on the table"" to get a closer look (a wonderful little sequence in itself); but immediately he falls down. ""Bad lamp, yells Sam."" HIS bleeding knee hurts; he cries; ""Mommy puts on a bandage""; and Sam, eyeing his bandaged knee, happily cavorts with teddy bear. Sam is the rare preschool hero, with a range of emotions, not set forth in animal guise. These sly, cathartic little tales don't quickly exhaust themselves either.

Pub Date: Aug. 22nd, 1983
ISBN: 688-02359-2
Publisher: Morrow