A Picture Book Review by Jean Matthew Hall
Samantha on a Roll was written by Linda Ashman and illustrated by Christine Davenier. Farrar Straus Giroux published it in 2011.
Samantha has new skates. Oh, how she wants to try them out! But Mama is too busy to help her.
Of course this plucky little MC isn’t going to take that for a final answer. She puts the skates on to just try them out in the hall.
What follows is a silly, oopsy-daisy misadventure that eventually brings Samantha safely back home. But not without a few hilarious mishaps along the way.
Davenier’s artwork is cute, whimsical with just a little bit of “color outside the lines.” Perfect for such an adventure and this spunky “outside the lines” little girl. The facial expressions also give a needed glimpse into Samantha’s less than innocent plan.
This is a cute, funny story. I’m sure young kids will enjoy watching the MC outsmart her mama with no consequences. However, that’s the only thing I can disagree with in this tale.
I know kids love to see their protagonist get the upper hand on adults. But I would like to have seen a little more than obliviousness from Mama, and a bit of consequences for Samantha.
Reading Samantha on a Roll aloud to your kiddos will certainly give you the opportunity to discuss things like deceit, disobedience and consequences. You can also talk about the way Samantha’s mishaps could have turned out badly, if you are so inclined.
However, if you simply want to enjoy a silly romp with your children, reading Samantha on a Roll should definitely be on your list.