A Friend for Sam


32 pages
ISBN 1-55337-375-8
DDC jC813'.54






Illustrations by Marisol Sarrazin
Reviewed by Anne Hutchings

Anne Hutchings, a former elementary-school teacher-librarian with the
Durham Board of Education, is an educational consultant.


Puppy Sam, the star of this group of Kids Can Read chapter books, is an
endearing black-and-white ball of fluff who is sure to please very young
readers. The Level 1 books aimed at this group of readers are short,
with simple sentences, easy vocabulary, and plenty of repetition.
Sam’s delightful adventures make perfect first novels. Sarrazin’s
charming and wonderfully expressive illustrations leave no doubt as to
just what Sam is thinking and feeling and provide visual clues that will
assist young readers.

A Friend for Sam finds the puppy feeling very lonely. Her attempts to
befriend a robin, a frog, a cat, a squirrel, and a snake all end in
failure. But the best is yet to come: a little boy—with an ice-cream
cone to share—becomes her best friend ever! In Sam’s First
Hallowe’en, the children coming to the door dressed as ladybugs,
tigers, robots, monsters, and fairies all get candy. But there is none
for Sam until she too, puts on a costume and goes trick-or-treating.

Sam longs to join in the party’s fun and excitement, but that is not
to be—at least not until the pizza delivery man arrives. As soon as
Joan and Bob’s backs are turned, there is plenty of Pizza for Sam.
Finally, in Sam Finds a Monster the young pup becomes a hero when she
single-handedly tracks down and vanquishes the green monster (aka a
garbage bag).

Puppy Sam is an engaging little character, and her antics are amusing.
One hopes, however, that present or future dog owners don’t feed their
pets according to Sam’s dietary preferences. Sam may be of the opinion
that dog food is yuck and ice cream, candy, and pizza are yum, but her
veterinarian would disagree. All of the books in this series are highly


Labatt, Mary., “A Friend for Sam,” Canadian Book Review Annual Online, accessed February 28, 2024, https://cbra.library.utoronto.ca/items/show/31883.