You Can Do It, Sam

Overview

It happened one winter morning, when the moon was still up, making moonbeams and shadows on Plum Street. In the little white house, Mrs. Bear and Sam were baking golden-brown cakes for their friends. "Come on, cakes," whispered Sam. "I can't wait, I can't wait, I can't wait!" At last Mrs. Bear sniffed the air and said, "I believe our cakes are ready." But who will go out in the snow and carry the tasty treats to each sleepy house?

In their third story about Sam and Mrs. Bear, ...

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Overview

It happened one winter morning, when the moon was still up, making moonbeams and shadows on Plum Street. In the little white house, Mrs. Bear and Sam were baking golden-brown cakes for their friends. "Come on, cakes," whispered Sam. "I can't wait, I can't wait, I can't wait!" At last Mrs. Bear sniffed the air and said, "I believe our cakes are ready." But who will go out in the snow and carry the tasty treats to each sleepy house?

In their third story about Sam and Mrs. Bear, Amy Hest and Anita Jeram capture a child's simple joy of giving -- and a quiet moment of confidence that will warm the coldest winter day.

When Mrs. Bear and little Sam deliver the cakes they have made for their friends in the neighborhood, Sam carries the cakes all by himself, through the snow and up to the front doors.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
A number of fall picture books feature familiar characters. In You Can Do It, Sam by Amy Hest, illus. by Anita Jeram, this third Mrs. Bear and Sam the cub story finds the mother-son duo cooking up "a tasty surprise" for their neighbors. The title, however, doesn't refer to what's going on in the kitchen, but rather what Sam does after the goodies are stuffed into red gift bags-and his mama asks him to play Santa. Although Jeram uses the same rounded lines and subtle colors that make the interior scenes so snuggly, she's equally accomplished at conveying the icy light and crisp air of a winter morning. Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
Children's Literature
Sam and his mother are baking cakes—"golden-brown cakes for their friends on Plum Street." Impatient Sam can't wait until the cakes are ready, then to be left as tasty surprises on the doorsteps of his friends. But when Mrs. Bear stops the green truck at the first house and says, "Here we are, Sam. I'll wait here and YOU take the cake," he doubtfully whispers "All by myself?" Mrs. Bear puts her arm around the anxious Sam and assures him that he can do it. So off Sam goes all alone to deliver the cake. Leaving the cake, he runs back to the truck, proudly telling his Mama "I did it!" So they go from one sleepy house to the next and Sam leaves a tasty cake at each door all by himself. When the job is done, Mrs. Bear and Sam return home to enjoy cakes and cocoa and tell each other stories "about a bear called Sam who takes cake (all by himself!) to his friends." The story and illustrations lovingly depict the warm and companionable relationship between a young bear and his mother as she helps him take those important and scary all-by-myself steps to independence. 2003, Candlewick Press, Ages 3 to 6.
— Anita Barnes Lowen
School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 1-In this third visit to the cozy home of a little bear and his loving mama, Sam has grown just a bit bigger, but not much bolder. When the two of them set out to make early-morning deliveries of the tasty cakes they have baked for their friends, Mrs. Bear encourages him to go to their doors. "All by myself?" he whispers. A heartening hug helps him to muster up his courage and make his way through the new snow to leave a red-bagged surprise on the doorsteps of several houses. And when they return home from making these neighborly gestures, there are two bags left over, just right for a brave little cub and his caring mother. Mrs. Bear in her big green sweater, the homey quilt-square curtains in the snug and humble kitchen, and the white mice with whom the bears share their home are warm and familiar. Jeram's bright, acrylic palette is gold-kissed and glowing. And while this story is not as fluid or as rhythmic as its companions, Sam's fans will find little fault with it.-Kathy Krasniewicz, Perrot Library, Greenwich, CT Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
A warm gesture of generosity has Sam and Mrs. Bear up before dawn, baking, wrapping, and delivering small cakes in red gift bags to the sleeping neighbors' doors on their snowy street. Sam's exuberant impatience in the kitchen-"Come on, cakes . . . I can't wait . . . "-is tempered by his shy demeanor when encouraged to walk alone from mom's truck to each house with his savory treat: "Go, go, go! . . . You can do it, Sam." The satisfaction of gift-giving inspires confidence in this preschooler and a sense of security that's ultimately rewarded at home with his own tasty snack of cake and cocoa. Bright, colorful acrylics paint a dual scene of a toasty home life against a frosty clear morning. Endearing characters add to the sweetness and fulfillment that younger children will identify with, making this third Sam and Mrs. Bear story quite a delicious morsel. (Picture book. 2-4)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780763619343
  • Publisher: Candlewick Press
  • Publication date: 9/15/2003
  • Series: Sam Books
  • Pages: 32
  • Age range: 2 - 5 Years
  • Product dimensions: 9.22 (w) x 9.44 (h) x 0.46 (d)

Meet the Author

Amy Hest is the award-winning author of many books for children, including KISS GOOD NIGHT and DON'T YOU FEEL WELL, SAM?, her first two books about Sam and Mrs. Bear; WHEN JESSIE CAME ACROSS THE SEA, illustrated by P.J. Lynch, which received the Christopher Medal; and the beloved Baby Duck series, illustrated by Jill Barton. Of her inspiration for YOU CAN DO IT, SAM, she says, "I love snowy days! I love being out in the snow . . . and coming in from the snow . . . and the wonderful smell of something baking in the oven on snowy days."

Anita Jeram is the illustrator of GUESS HOW MUCH I LOVE YOU by Sam McBratney and KISS GOOD NIGHTand DON'T YOU FEEL WELL, SAM? by Amy Hest. She is also the author-illustrator of I LOVE MY LITTLE STORYBOOK; BUNNY MY HONEY; and ALL TOGETHER NOW. Of YOU CAN DO IT, SAM, she says, "One thing my kids have taught me is that parenting is a process. Sometimes they seem to grow so fast, sometimes so slowly, but growth for us and our children is a matter of thousands of tiny heroic steps, each one a heartwarming story just like this one."

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