Friday, November 23, 2018

Review - Sam's Pet Temper

Sam's Pet Temper
by Sangeeta Bhadra
illustrated by Marion Arbona
Date: 2014
Publisher: Kids Can Press
Reading level: C
Book type: picture book
Pages: 32
Format: e-book
Source: library

Sam is so frustrated waiting his turn at the playground that a Temper shows up. Within seconds, the beastly, wild thing clears the place, and Sam happily plays alone with his new pet. But his Temper follows him everywhere, causing more and more trouble, until Sam realizes he needs to put a stop to it. How is the question... Kids will laugh at the relatable situations, while parents and teachers will enjoy the chance to talk about pet Tempers and ways to tame them.

(synopsis from Goodreads)

This story is actually kind of fun. Sam finds a Temper at the playground one day (or, more accurately, it finds him), and after he takes it home with him, he gets into all sorts of trouble. Personifying something like a temper is pretty clever, although I'm not sure if really young children will understand the concept. I liked how Sam always tried to excuse his bad behaviour by blaming it on his new pet.

The illustrations are interesting, done in a very limited colour palette (black, brown, red, pink, turquoise, and blue), and heavily stylized. However, one of the illustrations when the Temper turned into a large, snake-like creature, was kind of frightening--I don't think I would've liked that page when I was a little kid.

Overall, the message is good... if the kids are savvy enough to grasp it. The premise is clever, and the illustrations are amusing.

Quotable moment:

"Sammy! What's gotten into you?" asked his mother.
"It's not me," said Sam. "It's my Temper."
"Well, control your temper," said his mother. "Now get washed up for supper."
Sam told the Temper, "You have to be good at home, okay?"
The Temper purred.

Premise: 4/5
Meter: n/a
Writing: 4/5
Illustrations: 3/5
Originality: 4/5

Enjoyment: 3/5

Overall: 3.5 out of 5

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