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Sam and the tigers : a new telling of Little Black Sambo /

Follows the adventures of a little boy named Sam when he matches wits with several tigers that want to eat him. Full description

Main Author:
Other Authors: Pinkney, Jerry,, Bannerman, Helen, 1862-1946.
Format: Book
Language: English
Published: Dial Books for Young Readers, 1996
Edition: First edition.
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Caldecott Medal-winning illustrator Jerry Pinkney and Newbery Honor-winning author Julius Lester team up in thi groundbreaking and delightful update of one of the most controversial stories in children's literature. Hailed by Publishers Weekly as “hip and hilarious."
From the creators of the Caldecott Honor-winning John Henry comes a reimagining of Helen Bannerman's Little Black Sambo. Julius Lester uses his inimitable black southern storytelling voice to bring new life and laughter to Sam, a little boy with bright new clothes who encounters a group of tigers on his way to school. Like his breathtaking animal illustrations in The Lion and the Mouse and The Talking Eggs , Jerry Pinkney's tigers prowl off the page and leap into the imagination. All of the Lester and Pinkney trademarks are present: wit, humor, and the perfect marriage of words and images, making this classic folktale accessible to new generations.
“A hip and hilarious retelling that marries the essence of the original with an innovative vision of its own."— Publishers Weekly (starred review)
ALA Notable Book
American Bookseller Pick of the Lists
Book Links Best Book of the Year
Booklist Editors' Choice
Children's Books Mean Business
School Library Journal Best Book of the Year
Washington Irving Children's Choice Award

Review by Booklist Review

Ages 3-8. If you read Bannerman's Little Black Sambo as a child, you remember the wonderful story, especially the part about the tigers that turn into butter; but because of the exaggerated black stereotypes, few children see any version today. Now, nearly 100 years after the story was first published in 1899, Lester and Pinkney have stripped away the ugly racism and retold the story in a new way. As with their Tales of Uncle Remus collections, they have reclaimed a great classic for children. Lester tells it not with the simplicity of Bannerman but in an expansive black storytelling voice that's both folksy and contemporary, funny and fearful ("I'm finer than you two losers" ). Sam is shopping for school clothes with his affectionate parents; he's smart and sassy, and he gets what he wants. Then on his way to school, one tiger after another threatens to eat him up and he bargains his new clothes away ("Nice coat. It's a deal, Sam" ). The essentials are here: the snarling tigers won't let go of each other's tails, and they run so fast that they turn to butter, which Sam's mother uses to make pancakes--and Sam gets his clothes back. Pinkney's wonderfully detailed pencil-and-watercolor paintings capture the sunlit, idyllic community, where people and animals live in harmony. Only the fierce, prowling tigers are outsiders, both powerful and ridiculous. As in John Henry (1994), the whole natural world seems part of the human drama. Adults will be arguing about this book for months, in print and on the Internet, and Lester's afterword is an excellent place to start the discussion. As for kids, they'll love the book about a child hero who can outwit tigers. (Reviewed June 1 & 15, 1996)0803720289Hazel Rochman

From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission.
Review by Publisher's Weekly Review

Troubled by the racist trappings‘the characters' names and the stereotypical illustrations‘of The Story of Little Black Sambo, but drawn nonetheless to its hero and its humor, Lester and Pinkney set out to reinvent the tale. Their interpretation is more freewheeling than Fred Marcellino's (see The Story of Little Babaji, above), and they departs frequently and ingeniously from Bannerman's version. The new book's protagonist is simply Sam; the setting is the land of Sam-sam-sa-mara, where everyone is named Sam‘a touch that not only defuses any echoes of the original hero's derogatory name, but allows for many wonderfully absurd exchanges ("Sam looked at Sam. Sam shrugged. Sam shrugged back...."). Using the lively Southern black voice of his Uncle Remus retellings, Lester creates a savvy, comically streetwise hero who quickly learns to anticipate the tigers' muggings (" `You know the routine,' said the Tiger. Sam nodded and took off his pants. `Take 'em.' ") while losing none of his own sass. Pinkney's lavish illustrations‘a feast of figures, color, expressions and detail‘pick up and run with the expansive mood of the text. A hip and hilarious retelling that marries the essence of the original with an innovative vision of its own. Ages 4-8. (Sept.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
Review by School Library Journal Review

PreS-Gr 3‘A reimagining of Little Black Sambo set in Sam-sam-sa-mara, where everyone is named Sam. Lilting language and exuberant artwork give an old story bold, new, (and politically correct) life. (Aug. 1996) (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

(c) Copyright Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Julius Bernard Lester was born in St. Louis, Missouri on January 27, 1939. He received a bachelor's degree in English from Fisk University in 1960. He moved to New York to become a folk singer. He performed on the coffeehouse circuit as a singer and guitarist. He released two albums entitled Julius Lester in 1965 and Departures in 1967. His first published book, The Folksinger's Guide to the 12-String Guitar as Played by Leadbelly written with Pete Seeger, was published in 1965.

In the 1960s, Lester was closely involved as a writer and photographer with the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee. He traveled to the South to document the civil rights movement and to North Vietnam to photograph the effects of American bombardment. He also hosted radio and television talk shows in New York City.

He wrote more than four dozen nonfiction and fiction books for adults and children. His books for adults included Look Out, Whitey!: Black Power's Gon' Get Your Mama, Revolutionary Notes, All Is Well, Lovesong: Becoming a Jew, and The Autobiography of God. His children's books included To Be a Slave, Sam and the Tigers, and Day of Tears: A Novel in Dialogue, which won the American Library Association's Coretta Scott King Award in 2006. He also wrote reviews and essays for numerous publications including The New York Times Book Review, The Boston Globe, The Village Voice, Dissent, The New Republic, and the Los Angeles Times Book Review.

After teaching for two years at the New School for Social Research in New York, Lester joined the faculty of the University of Massachusetts, Amherst in 1971. He originally taught in the Afro-American studies department, but transferred to the Judaic and Near Eastern studies department when Lester criticized the novelist James Baldwin for what he felt were anti-Semitic remarks. He died from complications of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease on January 18, 2018 at the age of 78.

(Bowker Author Biography)

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