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Kellerhals-Stewart, Heather
Illustrated by Claire Kujundzic Vancouver, Polestar Press, 1992. 24pp, cloth, $12.95, ISBN 0-919591-16-7. Distributed by Raincoast Books. CIP

Kindergarten to Grade 4/Ages 5 to 9

Reviewed by Anna Santarossa

Volume 21 Number 1
1993 January

Skookum Sam was a wild west-coast logger. He loved to climb a Douglas fir tree and cut off the top to make a spar tree. Then he would climb on top of the tree and turn a handstand.

One morning after eating an enormous breakfast he grabbed his hard hat and chain-saw and set off for work, only to discover when he arrived that the boss wouldn't be needing Sam to make any spar trees because he had a machine that could do it for him. This made Sam very angry and he intended to show everyone who was the better spar tree maker.

Sam started to climb a "granddaddy" of a tree. The higher Sam climbed, the more he noticed that the weather was deteriorating. When Sam had climbed higher than all the other trees, he saw the lightning. But this did not stop him from cutting off the top tree and climbing on top and singing logger's song. When he was done, he a handstand and, at that same instant, lightning struck and Sam was never se again.

Readers will enjoy hearing this robust tale. The logger's language adds zest a flare. However, if you're not familiar w this colourful tongue, there is a glossary the back that explains all. Also included the lyrics and music to a logger's song, illustrations complement the text.

Skookum Sam, Spar Tree Man is a must any collection. It is especially useful when studying Canadian folk-tales or tall tales.

Anna Santarossa is a teacher-librarian in Bolton, Ontario
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