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SAM AND THE BIG KIDS by Emily Arnold McCully


From the I Like to Read series

by Emily Arnold McCully ; illustrated by Emily Arnold McCully

Age Range: 4 - 7

Pub Date: April 1st, 2013
ISBN: 978-0-8234-2427-6
Publisher: Holiday House

Can there be a positive side to a pesky little brother who won’t leave his big sister and her friend to their play?

There is in the latest I Like to Read series entry. Poor Sam is always trying to join in the fun his sister and her friend are having without him. But each time the little bear (so very politely) asks to play, they rather rudely tell him, “You are too small….Go home.” He can’t join in their picnic and is rebuffed from hiding in the cave, and when he wants to join in on making a fort, the friend has him count to 100, cruelly making him believe he is a part of a game. When sister and friend find a boat, they row to an island (wearing life jackets) and finally get the peace and privacy they so wanted…but what will they do when the boat floats away? While Sam becomes their hero, the book ends on this note, never satisfyingly tying up the question of whether Sam will be a welcome playmate in the future. The illustrations, done in pen, ink and watercolor, reflect the green and gray countryside nicely, though the facial expressions of the characters can be a mixed bag—the friend especially shows some mean emotions on her face, though the sister does seem to feel some remorse.

While this may open the door for discussion, the lack of a real conclusion may leave readers unsatisfied. (Easy reader. 4-7)