Sam the Cat is a picture book written by Sam Bowring and illustrated by Andrew McLean. It’s based on a true story, and even though at the end you’re asking yourself, “Did that really happen?”, you know that it must have because the story is too bizarre for someone to make it up.
Sam lives very happily in a tumbledown house with Jane and Ian. But when Jane and Ian bring home a baby boy, not only does he get all the attention – he even steals Sam’s name.
Having a son called Sam who loves cats, I was immediately drawn to the title and I know that kids will be too…and thanks to Andrew McLean’s wonderful illustrations, Sam is a particularly appealing kind of cat – one with a smiling face and intelligent looking expression.
Apart from the gorgeous illustrations and wonderful text, I love the way that Sam is a cat. Really, this is a book about adjusting to a new baby in the house, but it’s so cleverly done from the cat’s point of view that I can see small children relating to it and gaining understanding. Seeing as the main character is a cat, it’s totally non-confronting.
A child who’s not in this situation themselves will still be able to gain empathy for Sam and perhaps relate what he’s going through to children they know.
This is a gentle book with illustrations that reach into the hearts and minds of small children and clearly reflect how it feels to have things that you have no control over changing within the family. Sam the Cat provides lots of room for discussion about families, pets and names.
I really enjoyed this book, but I do have to confess an additional bias besides having a son called Sam.
I also have a cat called Charlie who bears a startling resemblance to Sam the Cat. Sam the Cat is written by Sam Bowring and illustrated by Andrew McLean. It is published by Working Title Press for readers aged 5+.