> The Things You Can Read: Sam, Bangs, and Moonshine

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Monday, July 16, 2012

Sam, Bangs, and Moonshine

Sam, Bangs, and MoonshineSam, Bangs, and Moonshine by Evaline Ness
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Sam, Bangs, and Moonshine is a wonderful story set in a small fishing village.  Evaline Ness, the author and illustrator, won the prestigious Caldecott Medal back in 1967 for her intriguing illustrations. Sam, Bangs, and Moonshine is a marvelous story in its own right, but it also is an excellent book to help your child understand the concept of reality versus imagination.

In the book the main character's father, a widowed fisherman, calls not being truthful moonshine. He tries to teach his motherless daughter, Sam, that there is good moonshine and bad moonshine. However, Sam is full of both types of moonshine. She tells folks her dead mother is a mermaid. She tells folks her cat, Bangs, speaks to her. She tells folks she rides in a chariot pulled by dragons. She tells her best friend, Thomas, she has a pet kangaroo, and sends him on a wild goose chase to find it each day. It is this last bit of moonshine that leads to some serious life lessons for Sam, and will also illustrate to children that actions have consequences.

I have to admit that I have a soft spot for Sam, Bangs, and Moonshine by Evaline Ness. It was one of the books I received from the Weekly Reader Summer Reading Program back in the day, and as a child, I was full of both types of moonshine. I read this book to my daughter tonight using my very own original copy. Sam, Bangs, and Moonshine is a story that has held up well over time. I hope my daughter will enjoy reading it to her children one day.

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