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Number One Sam Hardcover – May 13, 2014
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From School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 1—Sam is used to winning everything, including car racing, his sport of choice. His wall of trophies and trinkets show off his talent for success until the day the unthinkable happens: the pup loses the big race because he stops for a group of oblivious chickens in the middle of the track. Then his cheering friends and the chickens let him know that he is still number one with them. Children will be able to relate to Sam's disappointment when he loses while also understanding the concept that winning isn't always everything. Pizzoli's playful, cartoon illustrations perfectly showcase the message in a fun way yet never come off as didactic. Pizzoli's use of four-color art provides an airy, uncluttered vision for his story that will definitely attract children. The simple yet exciting text drives the story forward and will make it a popular choice at storytimes.—Christopher Lassen, Brooklyn Public Library
They don’t make dog racers better than Sam: “He was number one in speed. He was number one at turns. And he was number one at finishing races in the number-one spot.” On the day of “the big race,” he is happy and confident and steers his racer (which looks rather like a hot dog) around the track, neck and neck with elephant buddy Maggie. Then, with an effective color shift from bright pastels to moody blues, “Sam lost.” Young readers will identify with the shock of unexpected failure, as Sam arrives at the next big race quiet and nervous. (Observant sorts will notice the 1 on his race car has been crossed out in favor of 2.) But there are more important things than winning, as Sam gives up the lead to scoop some duckies off the path. Pizzoli’s follow-up to the 2014 Geisel Award–winning The Watermelon Seed (the starring crocodile makes a cameo here) again uses cheery Rocky-and-Bullwinkle-style illustrations and sparse text to pull off a far more emotional feat than you’d expect. Preschool-Kindergarten. --Daniel Kraus
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Top customer reviews
I wondered if the 4-year olds I was purchasing this book for would get this message and was pleased to find out they totally understood it! And they loved the book as well- Pizzoli’s pictures are big, colorful and exciting. The font and text changes throughout keep things exciting and the children I read it with were anxiously turning the pages to see what happened next. And the moral of the story is an important one for children to hear.
I highly recommend this book for anyone needing a gift for a child between the ages of 3 and 8.
NUMBER ONE SAM is about a pup named Sam who is used to always being the best race car driver and coming into first place in all the races. On the day of the biggest race yet, Sam is not worried that he will excel and win the trophy again. His overconfidence keeps him right up front right next to his best friend, Maggie. They ride beside each other right to the end... and Maggie wins!
Sam doesn't know what to do. He's the best racer, how could this have happened? He doesn't even know what to say to Maggie; so he doesn't say anything at all...
And during the next race, Sam has to make an important decision that will cause him to lose again.
Sam has never lost before? What will he do? Can he risk losing again?
Sam will teach our kids what it is to be a good sport, that winning isn't everything and whether you win or lose, your friends will always be there for you.
Adorable story with the cutest illustrations! I highly recommend this book to everyone that has little ones (preschoolers/kindergartners) and all those who adore and collect picture books - this one is sure to brighten up your day and your bookshelf!
*A signed hardcover copy was obtained at BEA for an honest review. All thoughts are my own.
Good art, good characters and a very good lesson...this book is a winner!
Book supplied by publisher.