Sammy in the Sky
Publication Date: August 9, 2011
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A deeply affecting tale of love, loss, and remembrance-- told in clear-eyed prose by a top journalist and illustrated by a renowned American painter.
Sammy, the best hound dog in the whole wide world, loves his girl and she loves him. When illness cuts Sammy's life short, the girl's family keeps his spirit alive by celebrating his love of chasing wind-blown bubbles, keeping loyal guard at night, and offering his velvety fur for endless pats and tummy scratches. Painter Jamie Wyeth's illustrations-- infused with his realist style and lifelong fondness for dogs-- radiate the joy and sadness of every tongue-licking, tail-wagging moment in this heartening and lovingly rendered story written by Pulitzer Prize-- winning journalist Barbara Walsh.
Barbara Walsh is a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist who has worked for newspapers and magazines in Florida, Massachusetts, Maine, and Ireland. Sammy in the Sky was inspired by her family's first dog, Sam, a loyal and loving hound who died in 2003. She is also the author of August Gale: A Father and Daughter's Journey into the Storm, an adult biography and memoir book. Barbara Walsh lives in Maine with her family and their coonhound, Jack, a rescue dog from Tennessee.
Jamie Wyeth is an internationally known painter, illustrator, and dog lover. When he was a boy he endlessly sketched his family dog and has continued to portray animals in his work throughout his life. He has illustrated two previous picture books, THE STRAY and CABBAGES AND KINGS. Jamie Wyeth, son of painter Andrew Wyeth and grandson of illustrator N. C. Wyeth, splits his time between Maine and Pennsylvania.
This timeless story, told in straightforward prose, is brought to life in textured, soft-edged watercolor paintings in a predominant palette of blue, green, and gold. The feelings of the protagonist and the playful personality of the dog are palpably rendered in their facial expressions and body language. A generous trim size, universal subject appeal, and striking artwork.
—School Library Journal (starred review)
Warm, emotional tale, replete with comfort and acceptance, this secular selection is a strong choice for a child dealing with death for the first time.