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Sid and Sam

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Sid and Sam sing a song. They sing a long song. It is funny. Yes, this is a My First I Can Read Book, in which Buck (Christmas in the Manger, 1994, not reviewed, etc.) either mirrors or mocks basic primers. Readers can decide. Sid, an African-American girl, and Sam, a red-headed boy, see each other and he begins to sing. Sid sings, too, and louder. Sam asks her to sing lower, so she gets low to the ground. Sam comments that her song is ``so long'' and she responds ``So long?'' ``See you soon!'' Sam says as he exits. The humor is pretty simple, and the puns will be clear to all but the youngest beginning readers, although the illustrations help with the jokes. Karas broadens the humor in his watercolors, giving the story a full park setting with statue, pond, benches, and animals dancing in the background. The whole endeavor runs to blatant exaggeration, but the effect is distinctly childlike.

Nola Buck (the pen name of Laura Godwin) is the author of many well-loved children's books, including Christmas in the Manger. With Ann M. Martin she also coauthored The Doll People, The Runaway Dolls, and The Meanest Doll in the World. She now lives in New York City but grew up in Alberta, Canada, and has fond Christmas Eve memories of watching Eeyore, the family donkey, play a part in the live Christmas pageant in her hometown.

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