Sam, Bangs and Moonshine
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Sam, Bangs and Moonshine

4.4 10
by Evaline Ness

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Samantha (known as Sam) is a fisherman's daughter who dreams rich and lovely dreams--moonshine, her father says. But when her tall stories bring disaster to her friend Thomas and her cat Bangs, Sam learns to distinguish between moonshine and reality.

Sam, Bangs & Moonshine is the winner of the 1967 Caldecott Medal.

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Samantha (known as Sam) is a fisherman's daughter who dreams rich and lovely dreams--moonshine, her father says. But when her tall stories bring disaster to her friend Thomas and her cat Bangs, Sam learns to distinguish between moonshine and reality.

Sam, Bangs & Moonshine is the winner of the 1967 Caldecott Medal.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

“An outstanding book.” —School Library Journal

Product Details

Square Fish
Publication date:
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
9.94(w) x 7.92(h) x 0.13(d)
510L (what's this?)
Age Range:
7 - 12 Years

Meet the Author

Evaline Ness (1911-1986) illustrated more than thirty books for young readers and also wrote many of her own. In addition to winning the Caldecott Honor for A Pocketful of Cricket, she received the Caldecott Medal for Sam, Bangs, and Moonshine. She left a huge mark on the world of children's literature.

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Sam, Bangs and Moonshine 4.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 10 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book haunts me still in my adulthood --in a good literary way. Yes, as others have said, the illustrations are dark 'some of the illustrations are bold brushstrokes and abstract', but that was also endemic to the popular art in the late sixties. One reviewer said that this book had the wrong message. I totally disagree. This book still reminds me to CARE about what I say to others and to think of the effect my words might have on another person. There is great sorrow in the underlying theme of motherless Sam, but the redemption at the end is all Light, and would we all be as lucky to see so clearly that our connections to others in the world really do matter. Read this to your kids and any one else you think has a mind open enough to hear the message of the story.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Sam (Samantha) is a young lady whose father is a fisherman on a small island. Her mother is dead, and she is close to her cat, Bangs, who mentally serves as her surrogate parrent when her father is gone on his boat. Being a little lonely, she has an active fantasy life. Those imaginings creep out into her conversations. 'Not even the sailors home from the sea could tell stranger stories than Sam.' Her father is concerned about this, and asks her to talk 'REAL, not MOONSHINE. MOONSHINE spells trouble.' 'Sam promised.' The only problem was that she would slip a bit. Thomas believed everything she said. What could happen as a result? This book won the 1967 Caldecott award for the best illustrated children's story. You will find that the black and brown outlines and washes contrast with white to create stark and emotionally laden images. The heaviness of losing her mother weighs on the reader as well as on Sam. When problems loom, the coloring becomes darker and stronger. You will feel like powerful music is playing in the background. There is an operatic quality here with story, lines in the illustrations, and illustration coloring echoing one another to heighten the effects. The story itself is the best one I have seen for examining the issues around fantasies imagined by children. Nice distinctions are made between internally experienced and externally verbalized fantasies, and also between dangerous and nondangerous ways of verbalizing. We all love a good story, so you don't want to banish your child's imagination totally. This book should help you to channel that imagination more constructively. The example in the book is so extreme that most children will see the lesson easily, without feeling that the story is aimed directly at them. Unlike most children's books, this one has a lot of drama and emotion to it. Although simply written and illustrated, it contains the elements of a grander story of the sort that adults would love if garbed as a full-scale novel. I kept thinking about how Stephen King would have done a treatment of the same story for adults. After you read this modern version of Aesop's Fables, consider how else you can use fictional stories to convey important lessons to those you love and care about. Communicate with the best interests of the listener or reader in mind! Donald Mitchell, co-author of The Irresistible Growth Enterprise and The 2,000 Percent Solution
Guest More than 1 year ago
This story is about a little girl who has trouble telling the truth - and how she learns the difference between what's real and what's 'moonshine' - nicely illustrated - this was a memorable book from childhood.
Gardenseed More than 1 year ago
This is a very good story to give to children who read independently, but do not want a book that is too big and too long. It does not look intimidating,.  The illustrations capture the mood of fog and stormy weather. The story itself is a haunting one, as previous readers have said. 
Guest More than 1 year ago
Who ever thought of lying being called moonshine? Well in this book, we are introduced to Sam who has a little trouble telling the truth and it is her dad that asks her if what she says is real or moonshine. I really enjoyed this beek because being truthful is something that I think is very important and this book shows kids why it is so important to be truthful. Read and find out if Sam ever discovers why moonshine (lying) is soooo bad.Ness, Evaline. Sam, Bangs, and Moonshine. New York, NY: Henry Holt Co., 1966.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This books theme is about a girl named Samantha, but everyone calls her Sam. Sam is a fisherman¿s daughter who has always dreamed of rich and lovely dreams, that her father calls moonshine. Sam has a cat named Bangs who listens to her wise thoughts about life. When she sends Bangs to find her pet kangaroo he is not there. But, soon after a disastrous storm nearly loose Thomas (kangaroo) and Bangs. This leads Samantha back to drawing line between moonshine and reality. A quote from this book said to Sam from her dad, ¿Today, for a change, talk REAL not MOONSHINE. This books genre is a picture book with dark illustrations with a lot of shading. It is a great book for children grades second to fifth. The author of this book Evaline Ness has won numerous awards for her work. She was a runner-up for the Caldecott Medal for three straight years before she won it in 1967. She taught children¿s art classes at the Corcoran Gallery of Art, 1943-45 and died on August 12, 1986.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book is about a little girl who always lies. She also has a cat named Bangs. Her grandfather knows about the what the little girl had been doing. So he said that she was talking moonshine when she lied. I hope you will tale my advice and read this book.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Evaline Ness, 1911-1986, was a children¿s book illustrator. She won the Caldecott Medal in 1967 for the book Sam, Bangs & Moonshine. She also received the Caldecott Honor for All in the Morning, A Pocket of Cricket, and Tom Tit Tot. Samantha, also known as Sam, is the daughter of a fisherman, and she has a vivid imagination. She tells everyone that she owns a fierce lion, a baby kangaroo, and a chariot that is drawn by dragons. She also likes to tell everyone that her mother is a mermaid, and that her cat, Bangs, talks when he wants to. Her father tells her that she needs to quit talking moonshine. Sam has a friend named Thomas. Everyday he comes to Sam¿s house wanting to see her baby kangaroo, and everyday Sam sends him on a wild goose chase. One day she sends him to Blue Rock to look for the baby kangaroo. Bangs tells Sam that the road to Blue Rock floods during high tide, and goes after Thomas. Sam decides to go for a ride in her chariot, and doesn¿t notice that the sky is turning gray. Suddenly, it begins to rain. Sam goes inside the house, and begins to worry about her friends at Blue Rock. She also realizes what her father was talking about when he told her to quit talking moonshine. Her father comes home, and Sam barely spits out that Thomas and Bangs were at Blue Rock. He goes to rescue them, but Bangs was washed away. Later that night while Sam was in her bed, there was scratching at her window, and Sam realizes that there is good moonshine and bad moonshine.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I loved this book! It is about a little girl who has a problem lying and tellig big stories. ' Sam said this, Sam said that, but whatever Sam said you couldn't believe!' Everytime she does this her father tells her ' Now go think about the difference between Real and Moonshine' Moonshine is what he calls made up stories! Does sam every learn the difference between real and moonshie? Read for yourself to find out! This book would be good for 2nd!Ness, Evaline. Sam, Bangs, and Moonshine. New York, NY: Henry Holt Co., 1966.
Guest More than 1 year ago
¿Today, for a change, talk REAL not MOONSHINE. MOONSHINE spells trouble.¿ This is what Sam¿s fisherman dad warns her before he heads off to work one day. Sam who likes to make up stories has to learn that it can cause harm to others. When she sends her friend, Thomas, out on Blue Rock in search of a kangaroo, it begins to rain and Sam¿s cat Bangs goes in search of Thomas. Sam¿s made up story or moonshine as her dad calls them puts Thomas and Bangs¿ lives in danger. The next day Sam was presented with a kangaroo rat, she of course calls it a kangaroo. She names it Moonshine and then gives it to Thomas to compensate for the one she had told earlier. Written and illustrated by Evaline Ness this Caldecott Medal winning book was entertaining to read and even though the pictures are only three colors (black, white and brown) the artistry is still an important part of the story.