Customer Reviews for

Sammy in the Sky

Average Rating 5
( 3 )
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  • Posted October 12, 2011

    Important book for anyone who has loved & lost a pet.

    This is a story about losing someone that you dearly love. In this case it is a dog named Sammy. He is the best friend of the unnamed little girl who is the central character in the story. And, because she is unnamed, it is easier for the reader to imagine themselves as her in the story. She is every child that has ever loved a dog.

    Your are instantly captured by Sammy's eyes in the illustration on the first page as the girl tells us why Sammy is "the best hound dog in the whole world". Then, as we transition into his illness, we discover just how important Sammy is as a member of their family. Everyone is affected by his illness and his loss. But, out of the grief comes an understanding that his most important contribution was his love and the memories that they shared. Those remain forever!

    Every reader will likely shed a tear for Sammy. It is a book that can both teach and sustain family stories of other beloved pets. It is a story that feels authentic and will ring true to anyone who has counted their pet as a "family member".

    The illustrations by Jamie Wyeth raise the story telling in this book. These illustrations are of the level found in an "art book" but are such a great match with the story they support it rather than compete with it. Overall, just a truly wonderful story for anyone who has loved a pet at some time during their life.

    This story is as important as "Bridge to Terabithia" in dealing with the subject of death but covers a much wider age range. It can be read and understood by an early reader on their own or read by an adult to help them understand (or prepare for) the loss of a beloved pet. It is a book that any parent or grandparent should have in their arsenal of great books to help in the raising of a child. I fully expect that it will be nominated for a Newbery and/or Caldecott award.

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  • Posted October 5, 2011

    Highly recommended - A "must" for all ages!

    Sammy in the Sky is a beautiful story for all ages about the gifts we are given by the dogs that we love. Sammy makes us laugh and smile as he chases bubbles and wears "dress up" clothes. He makes us sigh and weep as he courageously lives through his final days. In the end, along with his family, we learn to accept that he is physically gone, but will continue to fill our hearts with joy as we remember our time with him.

    As a teacher of almost thirty years, I highly recommend this book. Barbara Walsh's amazing tale deals with death in a very sensitive and loving way, which is so important when helping children learn to deal with grief. Along with her characters we get to experience love, courage, grief and understanding. Each of Jamie Wyeth's illustrations, breathtaking in their beauty, reaches into our hearts, capturing these emotions as only someone who truly loves dogs could do.

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  • Posted August 19, 2011


    As a grief counselor, I work with people of all ages who have loved and lost. Whether it be a person or a pet, loss through death can bring most of us to our knees. This book is not just for children. This book speaks to anyone who has known the feeling in the pit of their stomach when someone they love, is suddenly gone. The union of Barbara Walsh and Jamie Wyeth expressing what we will all feel at one time or another, is healing beyond words. I will use this book with young and old alike, and feel confident that it will be a companion for all who grieve for many years to come.

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