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School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 2- Sam is a pup who is certain that boys are tough and girls are not. While his school's student population is diverse-a rabbit, a mouse, a bear, and several dogs-most of the boys agree on one thing: they don't play with girls. Therefore, Sam is unpleasantly surprised to learn that Ellie, the new student in his class and the daughter of his mother's friend, will not only be staying over at his house, but will also be sharing his bedroom. He is awakened in the middle of the night by Ellie's quiet weeping and discovers that she fears her parents are splitting up. He listens and comforts her and is amazed at the courage she exhibits. Sam's newfound respect for her opens his mind to the possibility of being friends with girls as he realizes that they can be as strong as boys. The text is printed on solid-colored backgrounds in a hue taken from the full-page oil illustrations facing it. The simplicity of the format lends an eye-pleasing charm to the book. Ellie is depicted as a sweet-faced white cat, and all of the characters have lots of personality. This third title about Sam presents a gentle lesson that will be appreciated by children of both genders.-Maryann H. Owen, Racine Public Library, WICopyright 2006 Reed Business Information.