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Super Sam!

Super Sam!

by Lori Ries, Sue Rama (Illustrator)

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Sam is a super brother. He can run. He can leap. He can climb tall cliffs! But when his baby brother gets hurt, Super Sam must try his hardest to save the day.


Sam is a super brother. He can run. He can leap. He can climb tall cliffs! But when his baby brother gets hurt, Super Sam must try his hardest to save the day.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
This seemingly unassuming slice-of-sibling-life tale is actually a little gem-a model of sunny storytelling economy with nary a false step. Redheaded Sam (who looks to be age 5 or 6) appropriates his toddler brother's blanket for a cape and transforms into Super Sam (the hero's name is always rendered comics-style, in all-caps bold type). Utterly captivated, little Petey (named in a portrait drawn by Sam) pads around the house behind his big brother to witness his amazing displays of superpowers. "Show your strength, Super Sam!" proclaims newcomer Ries's text, as Ram (Cheer Up) depicts him exuberantly hoisting a toy truck over his head while Petey looks on in open-mouthed wonder. But when Petey gets a boo-boo and won't stop crying, Super Sam's powers seem all for naught-until he realizes that maybe his "cape" needs to be used for its originally intended purpose. "Super, Sam," reads the closing text in simple font, as Petey blissfully envelops himself in the blanket's comfort. Ries's concise, exclamatory lines are a perfect match for Ram 's buoyant, tightly focused watercolor-and-crayon illustrations (the waxy textures add a nifty, kid-style touch). With just two dots and an arc for Petey's facial features, Ries expresses everything there is to say about a young sibling's adoration and a big brother's protectiveness. Ages 2-7. (July) Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
Children's Literature
If ever there was a book that proved the thesis "Less is More," this is it. The author and the illustrator manage to tell a complete story with just fifty-three words and a series of simple, bright illustrations. The story is narrated by a toddler, describing the many fabulous feats accomplished by his big brother, Super Sam. Super Sam ties the baby's blanket around his shoulders like a cape and proceeds to fly (from a chair onto a stack of pillows), show his strength (hoisting a toy fire truck above his head), climb a cliff (all the way to the top of the bunk bed), and a series of other miraculous achievements. But when he accidentally steps on the toddler's finger, Sam's super powers are really called into play. The book with humor and insight dramatizes a younger child's hero-worship for an older sibling. Preschoolers who are wishing the new baby would go back to the hospital will undoubtedly enjoy reading it again and again. 2004, Charlesbridge, Ages 2 to 5.
—Barbara Carroll Roberts
School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 1-Neon-colored cartoons done in pencil, crayon, and watercolor chronicle the imaginative indoor play of a boy and his toddler brother. Petey shadows Sam, who wears a blankie cape, "flies" around the room, lifts a (toy) truck over his head, and saves his sibling when the child's finger is injured. Full spreads with minimal text, often repeating "super Sam," invite beginning readers to try this book on their own. A cozy tale of brotherly affection.-Gay Lynn Van Vleck, Henrico County Library, Glen Allen, VA Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
Brief text and bright, bouncy illustrations combine to create an appealing, if slight, story. The plot is simple: sturdy preschooler Sam borrows his baby brother's blue blankie and ties it around his neck to become "Super Sam." Everyday objects are transformed as he leaps over tall buildings (a pile of pillows), lifts a (toy) truck into the air, climbs a cliff (a bunk-bed ladder), and escapes from a wild bear (a stuffed teddy). Baby brother Pete is most impressed until Sam accidentally steps on his finger. When neither truck nor teddy soothes Pete's pain, Sam generously gives up his cape. Ries tells the story in short sentences, using only 53 words, including 12 repetitions of the phrase "Super Sam." Rama's illustrations, executed in colored pencil, water-soluble crayon, and watercolor, have a childlike appeal. Round-headed kids with simply drawn features cavort in a vividly colored bedroom. There's some inconsistency in the backgrounds, but this doesn't really detract from the illustrations' energy and charm. Imaginative and fun, Sam's antics will amuse and possibly inspire young listeners. (Picture book. 2-5)

Product Details

Charlesbridge Publishing, Inc.
Publication date:
Product dimensions:
9.10(w) x 9.10(h) x 0.40(d)
Age Range:
2 - 5 Years

Meet the Author

Lori Ries was born in Syracuse, New York, the eldest of four children. She discovered a love for storytelling as a young child and wrote her first story when she was just ten-years-old. It was a short story called "Jo-Jo the Raccoon" based on a true story about a baby raccoon that Lori's grandfather found on the side of the road and brought home for his children to raise.

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