Sam, Bangs & Moonshine by Evaline Ness

Sam, Bangs & Moonshine by Evaline Ness
Sam, Bangs & Moonshine by Evaline Ness

today’s children storybook summary is

Sam, Bangs & Moonshine

By Evaline Ness

Storyline: Samantha is a little girl living with his father, a fisherman, on an island, near a large harbor. For most of the time Samantha, or Sam, is home alone; father gone to sea and mother passed away. Sam would pass the time sitting on the rug outside the house with her friend, Bangs, a black tomcat. All good so far if not for the fact that Sam had a very active imagination and she would tell things that were “moonshine” as her father told her one day. She would say that her mother was a mermaid when she was actually dead, that Bangs was a lion and that her rug was a chariot, and more, that she has a baby kangaroo at home.

No one believed her but a boy named Thomas who lived in the neighborhood and rode the bike to her house in hope to see the baby kangaroo. But every time he stopped by, Sam told him that the animal went away, in a nearby place, and maybe Thomas should go searching for him.

Despite his father’s warning not to talk “moonshine” anymore, Sam continued with her fantasies until one stormy day when she sent Thomas to search for the kangaroo at the Blue Rock, a place in danger to be flooded. As she was watching the storm, afraid that Bangs and Thomas would get swept by the tide, her dad returns home. Sam tells him that her friend and her cat are at the Blue Rock. Her father runs to rescue them but he only finds Thomas who recovers quickly.  Bangs shows up at the window one day, all covered with mud.

Now Samantha promises to herself and her father that, from now on, she would only talk real. And so few days passed. One morning, as she was waking up, she sees a little shadow on the floor that was almost resembling a baby kangaroo. Amazed, Sam jumps out of bed to find a gerbil that her father had brought for her. Later, she named this pet “Moonshine” and gifted it to Thomas.

 Characters: Samantha, or Sam, Thomas, Bangs, Father

Illustration: Illustrated by the author, Evaline Ness, this book portrays the island’s scenery with firm strokes. With line and wash drawings, she creates exiting images of the little girl’s fantasies. Page by page, we follow the story by looking at the very important element of the story that is emphasized, while everything else is waiting on the background. Her colors are gray, black and gold, on a white background.

Age: n/a

Medal/Awards: Winner of the Caldecott Medal for illustration

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