Sunday, November 12, 2017

Review: Sam & Eva by Debbie Ridpath Ohi

by Debbie Ridpath Ohi
Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
Picture Book
40 pages
ages 4 & up

Harold and the Purple Crayon meets Tom and Jerry in this sweet and funny picture book about a boy and girl who must balance their creativity and figure out how to cooperate after their drawings come to life.

When Sam starts drawing a super cool velociraptor, Eva decides to join in. But Sam isn’t too happy about the collaboration. Soon Eva and Sam are locked in an epic creative clash, bringing to life everything from superhero marmots to exploding confetti. But when their masterpieces turn to mayhem will Sam stay stubbornly solo or will he realize that sometimes the best work comes from teamwork?


This is simply a fun read, which lets imagination flow and humor leap from every page.

Sam is coloring away when Eva wants to join in, but their pictures don't harmonize. Soon, Sam's monsters are defeating Eva's creations with every flip of the page. Although Sam's sure this will lead to his creations' domination, the result isn't exactly what he had hoped.

This book got high marks from all of my kids, and I can only agree. Imagination and the fun of drawing head this tale the entire way through. Every crayon mark lets something come to life, not perfect but full of possibility and personality. Eva and Sam scribble away with Sam always trying to get the extra edge—as siblings or playmates often do. Eva counters, holding on to her own ideas as the battle mounts and mounts. It's funny, it's imaginative and the situation is easy to sympathize with. Every page brings something new and unexpected, and reels the reader right in.

The illustrations make this book. They aren't complex, but rather stick to simplicity. The concentration is on the drawings, and each one is how a kid would create it. But these creations act on their own accord. The written text becomes the beginning basis for everything that unfolds in the illustrations. It's the kind of book to make kids laugh and giggle, and still pick up on their own and flip through over and over again.

There is a message, and it melds seamlessly with the fun. Even the ending is sure to draw a smirk and a laugh before kids will demand to hear/see the entire tale again.

And here she is. . .

Debbie Ridpath Ohi is a published writer and illustrator based in Toronto. She's the founder of Inkspot and Inklings, one of the very first online writing communities and electronic newsletters. You can find out what she's up to these days at


Debbie Ridpath Ohi said...

Thanks so much for reviewing SAM & EVA! I'm so glad you enjoyed my book. :-) (An aside re: bio: I no longer write for Readers can find out what I'm up to these days at Thanks again! -- Debbie

Tonja Drecker said...

Thanks for the heads-up!