Sam, Bangs & Moonshine

Sam, Bangs & Moonshine

by Evaline Ness
Trade Paperback, 44 pages
List Price: $8.99 Sale Price: $7.19
Used Price: $3.60 (1 in stock) Condition Policy

Sam is a fisherman's little daughter who spends her time making up stories about her life. She says that her rug is a chariot drawn by dragons, that her cat Bangs can talk, and that her mother is a mermaid (instead of being dead.) The only person who believes her tall tales is a little boy named Thomas who is always pestering to see her baby kangaroo.

One day Sam's father, fed up with her pretending, tells her "Talk REAL not MOONSHINE. MOONSHINE spells trouble." But Sam doesn't listen to her father, and sends Thomas and Bangs on a quest to Blue Rock to see the baby kangaroo and her mermaid mother. But Blue Rock will soon be covered by the tide, and a storm begins to rise. Faced with the consequences of her tall tales, Sam must learn the difference between what is REAL and what is MOONSHINE.

Sam, Bangs & Moonshine is the moody little picture book that won the 1967 Caldecott Medal. Written and illustrated by Evaline Ness (the wife of famous Prohibition agent Eliot Ness), it's drawn in washed-out oranges, greys, and browns that are evocative of cold, stormy island life. The tale itself is told compassionately. Little Samantha is coping with her mother's death by escaping into her own fantasy world, but must eventually come to terms with reality.

This is heavier in tone than most picture books, with some mild peril that may be frightening for some children. But the tender way the story is told and the endearingly happy ending (not to mention the adorable cat, Bangs) will certainly entertain children—and in the process, give them food for thought.

Review by Lauren Shearer
Lauren Shearer writes words for fun and profit. She also makes films, but everyone knows you can't make a profit doing that. Her other hobby is consistently volunteering way too much of her time. You can read more of her reviews here.

Review by Lauren Shearer
Lauren Shearer writes words for fun and profit. She also makes films, but everyone knows you can't make a profit doing that. Her other hobby is consistently volunteering way too much of her time. You can read more of her reviews here.
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Exodus Rating:
FLAWS: Attitude
Summary: Sam must learn to talk real, not moonshine, while trying to cope with her mother's death.

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