HOME SCHOOL BOOK REVIEW
Book: Sid and Sam
Author: Nola Buck
Illustrator: G. Brian Karas
Publisher: HarperCollins, 1997
ISBN-13: 978-0613058735 (Hardcover)
ISBN-10: 0613058739 (Hardcover)
ISBN-13: 978-0064442114 (Paperback)
ISBN-10: 006444211X (Paperback)
Language level: 1
(1=nothing objectionable; 2=common euphemisms and/or childish slang terms; 3=some cursing or profanity; 4=a lot of cursing or profanity; 5=obscenity and/or vulgarity)
Reading level: Ages 4 and up
Rating: 4 stars (GOOD)
Reviewed by Wayne S. Walker
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Buck, Nola. Sid and Sam (published in 1997 by HarperCollins). Wandering around the park, Sid and Sam enjoy a silly singing game. Sid and Sam start to sing. But Sid doesn’t stop. “Sid sang and sang and sang.” Sid sings so long that it drives Sam crazy. Sam has finally had enough of the unending song. “‘So long, Sid!,’ Sam says, ‘See you soon!’” What can Sam do when Sid’s song is too long? This very simple easy reader is part of is the “My First I Can Read” book series. Author Nora Buck’s simple text has a lot of repetition and clever wordplay. Illustrator Brian Karas’s cartoon-like pencil, crayon, and watercolor pictures capture the delight and whimsy of the children’s friendship. The actions, facial expressions, and outfits are all quite hilarious.
The basic benefit of Sid and Sam is that it is written with short sentences and a simple, easy-to-read vocabulary for the youngest of readers. The silly story will make preschoolers laugh and play with words, and beginning readers will smile when they are able to read a whole book on their own like the “big kids.” And the cute, unexpected ending will surprise everyone. Some people said that they found the fact that almost every word in the book starts with S to be “annoying…really, really annoying.” However, I can attest from personal, and somewhat painful, childhood experience that the “s” sound is one of the most difficult for children to learn and make properly. So, perhaps having a book in which most of the words start with S is not such a bad thing after all.