Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

Good Night Sam

Good Night Sam

Marie-Louise Gay
Picture Book  Series
For ages 4 and up
Groundwood Books, 2003   ISBN: 978-0888995308

It is night-time and a soft bluish light suffuses the room. Sam is having trouble going to sleep and he asks his sister "are you sleeping?" In her typical big sister sort of way Stella answers "Yes," and then "aren't you?" Thus begins another of Marie-Louise Gay's wonderful books, filled with delightful tongue-in-cheek humor.

Sam cannot sleep because Fred is not there to sleep with him. He and the reluctant Stella discuss all the possible places where Fred could be and where Sam could find him. There is a problem however. Sam informs Stella that Fred would never go to any of the places she suggests because they would scare him. It is quite obvious that these are places that make Sam afraid and not in fact, the illusive Fred.

In the beautiful soft colors of a moonlit night Gay's watercolor and pencil illustrations create the perfect backdrop for Sam and Stella's search for Fred. There is no doubt that this wonderful author and illustrator understands how children think, sympathizing with their fears and at the same time seeing the humor in their ways. If one looks carefully at the pictures one soon realizes that Fred may not be that far away after all.