Children’s Book Reviews
Children's Book Reviews: Sam Sorts
Publish April 7, 2017
In Sam Sorts, by award-winning author and illustrator Marthe Jocelyn, an avid collector hones his organizational skills. Sam’s prized possessions are lying in a messy heap on his bedroom floor. When the time comes to tidy up, he discovers many matching, classifying, and arranging possibilities. The inquisitive preschooler starts his task by gathering all the animal-shaped toys. Then, he looks for round objects, like buttons, a soccer ball keychain, and a shiny nickel. Sam also creates sets of things that float, including a blue bird’s feather, and a maple leaf. When he searches through his pile for rhyming pairs, he uncovers a car and a star; a box and a fox; and a parrot and a carrot. The conversational text extends plenty of invitations to count and sort along. Sam’s clever final display will inspire readers to make their own mathematical findings.
Marthe Jocelyn’s cut-paper collage illustrations are brimming with colourful and quirky details, from a handmade robot fashioned out of an empty spool of thread, orange pipe cleaners, and a juice box, to a fuzzy, phony moustache. The early numeracy concepts are presented in an engaging, eye catching manner and include a striped string Venn diagram that illustrates commonalities and a Pac-Man maze that humourously showcases “some things [that] Sam bites” and “some things [that] bite Sam.” Educational and entertaining – Sam Sorts is a concept book that cleans up on all counts.
Linda Ludke is a librarian at London Public Library. Her reviews have appeared in Quill and Quire, School Library Journal and CM: Canadian Review of Materials. When she’s not reading and writing she also loves searching for vintage treasures.
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