Sam and the Tigers: A Retelling of 'Little Black Sambo'

Sam and the Tigers: A Retelling of 'Little Black Sambo'


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Once upon a time there was a place called Sam-sam-sa-mara, where the animals and the people lived and worked together like they didn't know they weren't supposed to. There was a little boy in Sam-sam-sa-mara named Sam...So begins this delightful telling of one of the most controversial books in children's literature, Little Black Sambo. Julius Lester and Jerry Pinkney reveal at the heart of this story a lively and charming tale of a little boy who triumphs over several hungry tigers. "Lester and Pinkney have stripped away the ugly racism and...reclaimed a great classic for children. AThe? expansive black storytelling voice is both folksy and contemporary, funny and fearful." --Booklist

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780140562880
Publisher: Penguin Young Readers Group
Publication date: 08/28/2000
Series: Picture Puffin Books Series
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 40
Sales rank: 472,279
Product dimensions: 10.06(w) x 10.56(h) x 0.13(d)
Age Range: 4 - 8 Years

About the Author

Julius Lester is a celebrated author whose accolades include a Newbery Honor and a Coretta Scott King Award. He is also a National Book Award Finalist, a National Book Critics Circle nominee, and a recipient of the Boston Globe-Horn Book Award. In addition to his critically acclaimed writing career, Mr. Lester has distinguished himself as a civil rights activist, musician, photographer, radio talk-show host, and professor. For thirty-two years he taught at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst. He lives in western Massachusetts.
Jerry Pinkney is one of America’s most admired children’s book illustrators. He has won the Caldecott Medal and five Caldecott Honor Medals, five Coretta Scott King Awards, five New York Times Ten Best Illustrated Awards, the Society of Illustrators’ Original Art Show Lifetime Achievement Award, and many other prizes and honors. Recently a member of the National Council of the Arts and inducted into the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, he has also served on the U.S. Postal Service Citizens Stamp Advisory Committee. His artwork has been exhibited in galleries and museums throughout the country, including the Art Institute of Chicago, the Philadelphia Museum of Art, the Schomburg Center, and the Norman Rockwell Museum. Jerry Pinkney lives with his wife, author Gloria Jean Pinkney, in Westchester County, New York.

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Sam and the Tigers: A Retelling of 'Little Black Sambo' 4.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 8 reviews.
icedchai on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Genre: This book is a good example of a folktale. The story of Sam has been past down through the generations with talking animals and humans living in harmony. Even though this story couldn't happen in real life, it does stem from the original story written in the 1800's.Characterization: 4 starsAge: Intermediate
conuly on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
First things first - this is, as the title makes clear, a retelling of Little Black Sambo. If you're interested in a retelling that's closer to the original (it's the same text, but with modern illustrations and different names) try The Tale of Little Babaji.Having read the original text of Little Black Sambo (which is hardly banned - you can find it at Project Gutenberg online), and the text of Little Babaji, I can see why people liked it. Aside from the unfortunate names and illustrations, it's a cute story. It is! As the author and illustrator note in their foreword and afterword, the author never meant to write a racist story and you're not racist if you loved hearing it from your mom when you were a kid.(Those same foreword and afterword informed me that there are over FIFTY versions of the "original" Little Black Sambo, with 50 different sets of illustrations. Must have been a really popular book.) At home, we have a copy of Little Babaji, and a copy of Sam and the Tigers. (We also have read 5 versions of Cinderella, 2 of Seven in one Blow, 4 of Rapunzel, 3 of Hansel and Gretel, 2 of The Gingerbread Man, and 2 of Rumpelstiltskin. But who's counting?) Any story which has existed long enough to enter into the public domain is going to find itself with multiple tellings. This is a good thing - everybody in the world alters stories to suit their tastes. We all read the same book, but we get different messages out of it. I love it! And you know what else I love? I love this version. The original is a cute story, but this version expands upon it and fleshes things out better. Sam has a bit of attitude, something I always appreciate in my storybook characters. Sam's parents being named Sam and Sam makes for a couple of funny pages in the start of the book. The neighbors talking about the tigers' mysterious disappearance makes me giggle. In truth, this is a superior story. Not because it's "more PC", but because there's just more detail and more STORY there (and you can't beat those illustrations!)So before you get your knee-jerk reaction of "OMG THEY RUINED IT!" (or maybe "OMG THE ORIGINAL WAS A HORROR, WHY DO THIS???") try it out with open eyes. Pretend it's a brand-new book - and maybe you'll like it after all. (If not - go to google and get a printer. Honestly, nothing has been banned or censored, the original is simply not in print anymore.)
eekazimer on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
A retelling of Little Black Sambo in a southern African-American storytelling voice. The illustrations and the words are humorous from the start. The reader laughs with Sam and not at Sam. That helps to rid the story of its negative reputation. There¿s a reference to Brer Rabbit, the trickster from African-American folktales. It is as if this modern version is now legitimately recognized as a folktale. The true trickster in this story is Sam, the boy who outwits the tigers.
sroslund on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Sam lives in a town where animals and people live and work alongside each other and everyone is named ¿Sam¿. On his way to school, the colorfully-clad boy encounters hungry tigers threatening to eat him up. One by one, Sam outsmarts the tigers ¿ but will he make it safely to his classroom? Julius Lester¿s rich retelling of the controversial ¿Little Black Sambo¿ does honor to the parts original tale he loved as a child while adding newer, fresher language and leaving out the stereotyping. There is extensive explanation printed within the storybook¿s inside covers and introduction that validates Lester¿s intentions to save an imaginative story that was written in the wrong time and place and criticized for decades as racist and bigoted. His matchless black southern storytelling brightens up the pages and makes the reader admire all the people and animals. Award winning illustrator Jerry Pinkney¿s gorgeous pencil and watercolor drawings lend emotion and beauty to every page. His sweeping brush strokes and vibrant color choices bring the jungle (and the tigers!) to life on the page. Over 50 versions of the story have been printed, but now little Sam has finally found an appropriate and endearing resting place that allows today¿s children to fall in love with the classic tale. Recommended for ages 3-7.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Guest More than 1 year ago
its like sam had a bad day with has clothes because if he doesn't give the tigers his clothes, he would get eaten. The part that I like is when they say 'Ain't I Fine'. I hated the way they looked and the fact that all of their names were Sam. I recommend this book to students, because it is funny and full of jokes and words that are quite complicated.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Sam and the Tigers was a great book. I really liked how Sam kept on getting new clothes! The animals were really cool too. The end was especially interesting. I would definatly recommend this book to my students! :)