Friday, June 26, 2015

Review: Sammy Steals the Show by Emlyn Chand

Sammy Steals the Show by Emlyn Chand  
SAMMY STEALS THE SHOW  (a Bird Brain Book, #10) 
by Emlyn Chand 
Illustrated by Noelle Giffin 
 Evolved Publishing
 56 pages
For Ages 3 to 8

 Sammy is a talented young cockatiel who loves to sing out of his open apartment window for all of Australia to hear. One day, he watches a reality singing competition with his human friend, Lisa, and knows that if he could just audition, he would surely win. What follows is a masterful escape, an eventful journey to the Sydney Opera House, and an audition thecrew of "Sing Your Heart Out" will never forget. Will Sammy take home the title of Australia’s next rising star, or will he find something more important along the way? There’s only one way to find out: join Sammy in his humorous adventure of fame, friendship, and fun.

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Sammy is one determined cockatiel, who has a great singing voice. This book starts with this bird in his cage at home, a satisfied bird with a great singing voice. It's refreshing to have a character who is, in general, satisfied with life. Sure, not everything's perfect, but Sammy is wise and understands why some things have to be they way they are.

The writing is fitting for the intended age group, and just in case young readers find a few things they don't know (a cockatiel or the word mate), there's a short description in the back of the book to help them along. The illustrations are colorful, enjoyable and sure to draw kids in as they accompany Sammy on his journey, and the plot is simple but exciting enough to make readers want to find out what happens in the end.

There's some very obvious messages in this book, which kids can never hear enough about. I was a tiny bit irritated at how accepting Sammy was in the beginning--a bird who understands the world around him perhaps a little too well. And the ending hit me a little off-balance, not that it's bad--the message was great! But the message seemed a little too nicely packed in some ways.

Still, this is a cute story with a lot of good things, boys and girls are sure to enjoy.

And here she is. . .

Emlyn (4)

From an early age, Emlyn Chand has counted books among her best friends. She loves to hear and tell stories and emerged from the womb with a fountain pen grasped firmly in her left hand (true story). Her affinity for the written word extends to absolutely every area of her life: she has published fiction across multiple genres, oversees and contributes as both an editor and an author to the Novel Publicity Guides for Writing & Marketing Fiction series, and loves the written word so much, she even married author Falcon Storm! Don’t forget that she is the founder and president of Novel Publicity too.

The book that changed Emlyn’s life is Harold and the Purple Crayon by Crocket Johnson. It opened her eyes to the world that could exist if only she was willing to create it—a lesson she has never forgotten. Maybe that’s why she loves writing her Bird Brain Book series for children so much! Emlyn’s first novel, Farsighted, won the prestigious Writer’s Digest Self-Published Novel of the Year award in 2012 for the YA category. She now writes most of her fiction under her real name, Melissa Storm.

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