Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Shrinking Sam - Review of a Gorgeous Picture Book from Barefoot Books

Guest Post by Devaki Bhujang Gajare, Founder of Little Readers' Nook
A Big Thank You to Divya for this wonderful opportunity!

I have two very specific criteria in mind when I pick children's books, be it for our Read Aloud kits, for use in our storytelling sessions or simply to read with my son - attractive pictures to capture the little ones' imagination, and an open-ended story that encourages kids to think for themselves. I loved Shrinking Sam at first sight since it fulfilled both these conditions perfectly.

Little Sam feels lost as part of a large family - mum's busy with the new baby, dad's asleep and big brother just wants to be left alone to read. Even Kimba, the dog doesn't pay him much attention. Each time he feels ignored, Sam finds himself shrinking, until he's so small, he falls right down the sink! There he meets a little girl in a similar situation and as they share stories, Sam finds himself becoming big again. 

Reading Shrinking Sam reminded me how all of us, big or small, need love and attention. I made sure I gave my son an extra long hug and kiss right after we read the story. What does it mean to be ignored? How do we feel when no one talks to us? Can people really change in size? What part of the story was real and what was fantasy? It was interesting to see my almost 4 year old grapple with such questions as we read the book. 

Often kids are unable to articulate their true feelings and end up throwing tantrums instead. I found our discussion post this story opened up a whole new way for me to explore and understand my son's feelings. A couple of days after we first read the book, I was busy with my work and not listening to what my son was saying. He came up to me and said, "Aai, I am small like Sam!" Talk about a reality check!

The icing on the cake are the illustrations by Miriam Latimer, truly a treat for the eyes, as is the case with most Barefoot Books. Go for it! Highly recommended for the 3+ age group, especially if you are dealing with tantrums or sibling issues.

Available on Flipkart, this book was chosen as part of our November Read Aloud kit.


  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. Thanks Devaki for your prompt response!:-) You are right......reading to kids helps them correlate their feelings with the characters in the books and in turn helps us to view their issues in a new light! I can imagine what you must have felt when your little one compared himself to Sam! :-) Shrinking Sam sounds like an interesting read with many layers! Thanks for sharing with us! I can totally relate to how passionate you are about picture books and reading for kids. I truly admire you for turning your passion into your calling!:-) All the best and thanks once again!

  3. It's been my pleasure. With all the running around for Little Readers' Nook, I rarely get time to sit down with a single book and write down a proper review. Thank you for the opportunity Divya!

  4. I loved reading this, Devaki. this book goes to my Wish List.
    Divya, your blog is lovely too.

  5. Your welcome Devaki!:-)
    and bubble ink, thanks for stopping by :-)

  6. Hi dear wish u a very very happy new year and my luv to ur kid. I am Chetana and I was a journalist for 12 years now. I then had to quit my job to take care of my two lil naughty toddlers. I am now associated with this company called ETL they are into total development program for kids of age group 8 months to 7 years. We have a package of various interactive books, cd roms and I pad kind of a thing. Can u pls give me ur number so that I can call u and fix up an appt with u to give a demo. My number is 9916745431. Even otherwise I would love to meet and make friends with new people. Our kids can b friends too. Luv

  7. Loved reading this. Oh those Enid Blyton, Famous Five, Secret Seven days - we formed similar clubs - had included even a friend s pet in the club like in these books - we even had names for them - cant remember the names now though

  8. Oh yes... and Nancy Drew, Hardy Boys, The Three Investigators:-):-)
    .......those were the days! :-)