Samantha finds herself rolling downhill—slowly at first, then quickly gathering speed. Along the way, the girl bumps into various people and collects accidental accessories (a butterfly net, a baseball bat, a kite, even a bridal veil). She runs smack into the town parade and overturns an ice cream stand. After hitting a skateboard ramp, Samantha is lifted up by the kite and finds herself soaring through the air. But not to worry: Young readers can let out a sigh of relief. While in the air, Samantha is able to drop all the items she’s collected to their rightful owners and as luck would have it, she lands in a tree near home. (“Sammy looks between her feet./ ‘Hey!’ she hollers. ‘It’s my street!’”) Meanwhile, Mama has no idea Samantha’s been for a wild ride through town. Throughout her daughter’s joyride, we’re treated to scenes of Mama going about her household chores. When her clueless mother finally offers to take her daughter out for a spin, an exhausted Samantha (back home and pretending to read a book) replies, “’Oh, that’s okay./ I’ll try them on another day.’”
The lively rhymes by Linda Ashman (M Is for Mischief) make this story especially fun to read out loud. And the charming, old fashioned-style illustrations by Christine Davenier (Miss Lina’s Ballerinas) are equally lively and fun to peruse. Children will sympathize with Samantha’s temptation to disobey her mother. They’ll delight in her exuberance and get caught up in the excitement of her plight (made all the more palpable by Davenier’s expressive illustrations). After reading this tale, you’ll want to dust off your old skates and take them for a rollicking ride of your own. Have fun!
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Can you suggest other books that feature the adventures of a mischievous young protagonist and a parent who’s none the wiser?