Gr 1-3-Sam and his classmates are facing the Big Test! The older children tell them exaggerated stories: "The test is so hard-your head looks like a marble when it's over," the "booklet is like a telephone book," and "Nobody finishes," and Sam begins to worry. When the big day arrives, the children have been well prepared, and all goes swimmingly. Outside, the smaller children wait to know how it was, and, of course, Sam and his friends tell them the same tall tales that they were told. Enlivened by colorful and humorous illustrations depicting the students' worries, this book is fun and cheerful, as well as unique in its subject. With the increased emphasis on testing, there is a real need for books like this one that spoof and reassure simultaneously. Good hints are given for how to prepare for exam day, such as "get a good night's sleep," etc. This book should find a home in most libraries.-Judith Constantinides, formerly at East Baton Rouge Parish Main Library, LA Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
Young Sam has heard stories about the end-of-year test in Mr. Albright's class. It's as big as a telephone book, older students groan. Your head will look like a marble when you're done; your arm will be in a sling. ("Some arms fall off," shrieks one girl at Sam.) Understandably, Sam has a gathering case of the willies. Even his family is (inadvertently) undercutting his teetering confidence; his mother remembers endless reports, his grandfather remembers teachers measuring his head at the end of term-if it hadn't grown, woe was he. Mr. Albright is as cool as a cucumber, pouring oil on troubled waters, but the waters still tremble. Poydar works her magic here, playfully kindling a little blaze under Sam's apprehension, all the while defusing it with the goofy preposterousness of the legends surrounding the test. Said and done, Sam's class now has their own legends to pass on: "Yeah," said one kid to a younger one. "I know a kid who had to eat it!" The tradition continues. (Picture book. 4-8)