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Reviewed by Jack Magnus for Readers' Favorite
Sam: The Cat Without a Tail is a children’s picture book written by Gloria Lintermans and illustrated by Kristina Tasic. Alex was thrilled when his mom came home one day with a kitten for him. He fell in love with the little face that peeked out at him from the cardboard box that the kitten had come home in. Alex named his kitten Sam and showed him to his big brother, Richard. Richard laughed at Sam’s fuzzy little tail, which was more of a stub than what Richard considered a real tail. Sam knew that Alex liked him, even if Richard laughed and called him Stubby. But it was when Sam began to get to know the other cats in the neighborhood that he realized that his tail was different from theirs -- and that he was different as well. He began to hide in the house more and tried to avoid being seen by other cats. When he hid in the pantry, the door closed on him, and he was locked in the dark until Alex came looking for him. Sam got more and more unhappy and scared until Aunt Marsha came to visit. Then things suddenly turned out just fine. Lintermans includes an appendix on the Manx cat as well as Information for Parents and Caregivers on the development of self-worth in children.
Gloria Lintermans’s children’s picture book, Sam: The Cat Without a Tail, is a story that will resonate with any child who feels different from or not as good, fast or smart as his/her peers or siblings. As Sam finds, having things in common with others makes it a lot easier to become one of the group and to feel the self-worth needed to interact in a positive way with others. Lintermans’s little kitten is indeed special with skills of his own that save the day, as, indeed, each child is unique and special. The author’s message is so inspirational because it challenges kids to find out what makes them special, and it alerts parents, caregivers and teachers to watch for signs that indicate that a child is unhappy or feeling different. She also does a great job of introducing Manx cats to her audience, a special and rare breed most recognizable by their stubby or non-existent tails. Kristina Tasic’s illustrations are marvelous! They’re brightly colored and work perfectly with the storyline, especially her inspired cat drawings. Sam: The Cat Without a Tail is most highly recommended.