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You Can Do It, Sam Hardcover – September 15, 2003

4.5 out of 5 stars 45 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

PreSchool-Grade 1-In this third visit to the cozy home of a little bear and his loving mama, Sam has grown just a bit bigger, but not much bolder. When the two of them set out to make early-morning deliveries of the tasty cakes they have baked for their friends, Mrs. Bear encourages him to go to their doors. "All by myself?" he whispers. A heartening hug helps him to muster up his courage and make his way through the new snow to leave a red-bagged surprise on the doorsteps of several houses. And when they return home from making these neighborly gestures, there are two bags left over, just right for a brave little cub and his caring mother. Mrs. Bear in her big green sweater, the homey quilt-square curtains in the snug and humble kitchen, and the white mice with whom the bears share their home are warm and familiar. Jeram's bright, acrylic palette is gold-kissed and glowing. And while this story is not as fluid or as rhythmic as its companions, Sam's fans will find little fault with it.
Kathy Krasniewicz, Perrot Library, Greenwich, CT
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Booklist

PreS-K. In this cozy picture book about a mother and son's quiet adventures on a winter morning, Mrs. Bear (a very gentle-looking bear) builds up Sam's confidence in a sweet and memorable way. Mom and Sam bake cakes together, and Sam is encouraged to deliver them to friends' doorsteps. All by himself, through the newly fallen snow, he goes up to each door and leaves a "tasty surprise." Then he runs back to Mom for a tender hug, his sense of accomplishment shining forth from the illustrations. Hest uses a soothing, repetitive voice for this instruction in gift giving ("Mrs. Bear and Sam counted cakes, and there were twelve. They tucked them in bags, and there were twelve red bags"), and Jeram's acrylic paintings capture the subdued light of winter mornings. Little ones will find this both a suitable precursor to naptime and a spur to be brave and act generously--just like Sam. Abby Nolan
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 2 - 5 years
  • Hardcover: 32 pages
  • Publisher: Candlewick; 1st edition (September 15, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0763619345
  • ISBN-13: 978-0763619343
  • Product Dimensions: 9.2 x 0.5 x 9.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (45 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,288,640 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
We bought this book three years ago and my kids (4 yrs. and 7 yrs.) still love to read/hear it. I was surprised to see two reviewers describe the text as awkward and "strangely repetitive." The text is repetitive, but it's poetic and emphasizes certain concepts. Typically children like repetition of words and themes. Regarding a previous reviewer's comments about spending more time on the "you can do it" aspect, I'd argue that the part about mama bear and her little cub working together to bake and prepare the packages is as important to the story as the actual delivery. What's not to like about a mom spending time with her son and teaching him how to serve his neighbors? The text of this book is charming and the illustrations are beautiful. We own all three Sam books and regularly give them as gifts. I highly recommend the entire series.
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By A Customer on January 20, 2000
Format: Hardcover
A great book for young children... beautiful illustrations, simple yet delightful story about a duck who dislikes the rain (until Grampa helps out). I've read it over and over again to my two preschoolers and they never tire of it (me neither!) Especially fun to read on rainy days.
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By A Customer on September 29, 2001
Format: Hardcover
Well, we FINALLY bought this book after my 2-year-old checked it out from the library week after week. Each time we returned it, she'd ask for "That Duck book" at bedtime. It has a delightful story & illustrations that allow pre-readers to "read" the story to you by just looking at the pictures. I suggest getting the hardcover because you'll read it so many times, that you'll want it to hold up for years.
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By A Customer on September 8, 2000
Format: Paperback
My son received this book for his 2nd birthday, and loved it. And it's one of my all-time favorites, too. It captures very subtly and lovingly the complex relationships between toddlers and parents grandparents. I never tire of reading it to my son.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
We checked this out of the library today. We've had to read it to our two-year-old son probably 12xs already. It combines two of his big interests -- cooking and trucks. The illustrations are beautiful and the story is lovely. Highly recommend!

FOLLOW UP: We bought this book in hard cover from an independent seller, since the hard cover isn't in print. We received a smaller version of the book that seems to have been put out via a Kohl's fundraising campaign. It is not nearly as nice as the original hard cover version we checkout of the library. Buyer beware / clarify if you are interested in a hard cover copy!
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I had to buy this book after my then-4 year old made me check it out from the library 3 times. He calls it "the Sam Cakes book," and whether it is the cozy atmosphere, the warm, encouraging mother, the I-can-do-it-by-myself... with a little help from Mommy, the cake, or the primary colors (likely a combination, right?), he LOVES this book and wants to re-read it again and again. And I truly don't mind, because it's very sweet.
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Format: Paperback
This is a beautiful book. The reason the phrasing is awkward sometimes, is that the author is writing from the recollection of Sam....he is a small child. That is why he says stuff like, "and we rode in the truck that is green."
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Format: Paperback
This is a great read-aloud story. The text has a nice cadence to it, in the mold of Margaret Wise Brown (Goodnight Moon Big Book and Big Red Barn Big Book), and it holds up well to repeated readings. It is a nice little tale about Sam overcoming his fear of walking up to the neighbors' houses all by himself to deliver holiday cakes. The snowy scene and the warm ending eating cakes in front of the fire bring a peaceful setting just right for bedtime. And the illustrations work great.
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