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It's Future Job Day at Sam's nursery school, and not only has his mom made him a "Zooman Sam" jumpsuit, his sister Anastasia has acquired for him a whole mess of sports caps with such fitting logos as Tigers and Cubs. In a class filled with future firefighters, Sam's zookeeping aspirations really stand out, and he's especially thrilled when his teacher tells him he can wear a different cap each day and tell the other children about each animal: "For six weeks he could stand in front of the circle and feel that feeling of being the most interesting person in the room." This is a slender thread on which to hang an entire novel, but Lowry spins interesting variations on her theme, and the book ends with a swell (and well-prepared) surprise. Sam remains every middle-grader's little brother; parents, too, will be amused. r.s.