This review was first published in Resource Links Magazine, Canada’s national journal devoted to the review and evaluation of Canadian English and French resources for children and young adults. It appears in volume 14.3.
This story is the oft-written plot of “young child finds lost animal, takes it home in secret, comes to love it, discovers the owner and must return it.” The stereotypical plot is perhaps reassuring to young readers, and the illustrations are delightful. Still, a significant concern is the discord between the language and context level and the length of the text. The story is too long for a read-aloud story, but the overly simple language and syntax suggest a target audience of pre-readers. The author provides numerous redundant explanations, such as noting that Sam’s mother’s comment “You might forget later” to clean the litter box, indicates that “Sam had a habit of forgetting things he didn’t like to do.” While friendly, the story is simple and predictable, perhaps better suited to a picture book format than a 61-page chapter book.