Sam, the Most Scaredy-cat Kid in the Whole World ISBN: 9781406379631
Published by Walker Books, 2017
Sam may well be the most scaredy-cat kid in the world, but he meets his equal when he encounters Kerry. The two of them are terrified of absolutely everything - except their respective monsters! Sam is afraid of rain, spiders, newspapers and jack-in-the-boxes - not to mention the thumping of a friendly dog's tail. But Leo, his monster, is a friend, and even when Leo tries to frighten Sam, he doesn't respond. It's a different story when Sam meets Kerry and her monster Frankenthaler. Both children fall about in terror at meeting another child whilst their monsters try to reassure them, but Kerry being the second-most scaredy-cat kid in the world isn't having it, and neither is Sam. What to do? The two monsters decide to leave the two children to it and leave. Sam and Kerry have no idea what to do next, but at least they have that in common, and they soon discover they have lots of other things in common - their fears and lots of likes and dislikes. But they also find that there are things they don't agree about: Sam likes tuna fish sandwiches, but Kerry doesn't; Kerry likes to play her electric guitar very loud, and Sam hates that. The two children find all this rather odd, but they make a decision to hide from their monsters in order to jump out and scare them - which they do! Leo and Frankenthaler are delighted that Sam and Kelly are friends, and in the perfect ending, the four of them play chase. The humour in this picture book is absolutely marvellous, and the point is made tellingly that one must get to know someone before making a true friend, that sharing fears is a great way to begin to get over them, and that monsters can be friends too! The opposite-of-real idea that frightened people can accept monsters while not accepting anything else more mundane in their lives makes a very different approach to the whole problem of monsters being scary. This is a wonderful, zany and quite superb picture book with lots of space on the pages, speech bubbles, integrated text and fun all round.