Sam’s First Word
Sam’s First Word
The big people in Sam’s family were always excited when she did something new.
And they wondered what she would do next.
“Perhaps she will say her first word,” they said.
For new parents and extended families, nothing can compare to the pride and adoration that they feel for their very young children as they stretch themselves to grow, learn and communicate. Bea Birdsong weaves a playful little story about parental expectations in this lovely example of what can happen when grownups become distracted by their own imaginations.
Sam has an adoring support system. She has shown all of her grownups that she can wave her arms, clap her hands, and take off her own diaper. Whenever she demonstrates a new skill, the grownups in her life cheer her on and wonder what skill she will master next. Naturally, each grownup is curious about what her first word will be, and each tries to influence her learning path. Mama sings, Papa tells a story, Nana and good neighbor Mr. Theotopolous are also in on the fun. They would each love to hear Sam utter their own name first.
It appears though that Sam is a bit of an independent thinker and is struggling to help her grownups understand her needs. Caught up in their own wishful thinking, the grownups completely miss out on Sam’s first word, until she does something drastic to get everyone to pay attention to her – and also speaks her first word which, surprisingly, is not what anyone had anticipated.
Children will enjoy this humorous tale which is accented by Holly Hatam’s fresh and bright illustrations that light up the story with delightful whimsy. Sam’s First Word, filled with lots of fun, silliness and story time giggles, is a great read-a-loud for the whole family.
Tamara Opar is Youth Services Head Librarian, Children’s and Teen Services at the Millennium Branch of Winnipeg Public Library.