Another Mo Willems Book? Does This Guy Ever Stop Writing? (book review)

No. No he doesn’t. And the world is better off for it.

Mo has another recently released book out for kids called Sam the Most Scaredy-Cat Kid in the Whole World and it is sweet.  Not sticky, sappy sweet.  But if you have a child who has ever been the odd one out (or maybe if you’ve ever been the odd one out) this book will resonate with you in an encouraging way. Mo is able to bring together a story on many different levels and have it affect you in simple, but profound ways.  It’s his subtle complexity that makes him so popular.

Cover art for Mo Willems’ Sam the Most Scaredy-Cat Kid in the World

Title: Sam the Most Scaredy-Cat Kid in the Whole World
Author: Mo Willems
Cost: $17.99
Publisher: Disney-Hyperion (an imprint of Disney Publishing Worldwide)
Ages: 4-8
Genre: Children’s Books

Sam is sort of a sequel to another popular Mo Willems book, Leonardo, the Terrible MonsterBoth Sam and Leonardo are first introduced in Leonardo’s adventure, but this time the focus is on Sam and what it’s like to be scared.  Sam uses the same oversized pages with similar lettering, coloring, and art style to give the books a familiar feel.  In the story, Sam is seemingly scared of everything (except Leonardo – who is a monster).  He bumps into Kerry who is also scared of everything (except her own monster friend, Frankenthaler).  What’s funny is that Sam and Kerry are not scared of the other monsters.  They are scared of each other.  And they scream.  And scream.  And scream.

So Leonardo and Frankenthaler do the only thing monsters can do in the face of two kids who won’t stop screaming.  They leave.  And Sam and Kerry are forced to deal with one another and their fears.  I like how Mo addresses this problem for the two kids.  He never belittles their fear or says they shouldn’t have it.  Instead he shows how they deal with it and live with it.  The story is funny and cute and makes for great bedtime reading especially for younger children.  Kids in the first few years of elementary school will enjoy it as they learn to read for themselves and its a great book to read at the beginning of the school year.  That’s especially true if your kids are feeling scared and alone at school.  What a great way to relate to that situation.  Mo does it again with another easy-to-read but many-layered book.

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