STARRED REVIEW
April 01, 2016

Sammy’s wild ride

By Henry Cole
Review by

In The Somewhat True Adventures of Sammy Shine, by author and prolific illustrator Henry Cole, Sammy the pet mouse is mouse-napped by his owner’s older brother and put inside a remote-controlled airplane. When the brother accidentally steps on the control device, rendering it useless, Sammy becomes a most reluctant pilot.

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In The Somewhat True Adventures of Sammy Shine, by author and prolific illustrator Henry Cole, Sammy the pet mouse is mouse-napped by his owner’s older brother and put inside a remote-controlled airplane. When the brother accidentally steps on the control device, rendering it useless, Sammy becomes a most reluctant pilot. He struggles with the onboard controls as the plane does loop-de-loops, finally coming to a crash landing at the edge of the big woods.

Although woozy from the crash, Sammy realizes he is somewhere quite different from his shoebox home containing peanuts and sawdust. He’s somewhere rather special, surrounded by flowers and plants of all kinds. After Sammy is rescued by a mouse colony, he sets off on a journey to find his airplane and then to find Goggles the raccoon, the only creature who can help him fix the plane. He knows his trek to find Goggles is dangerous; there is a trouble-making weasel who is also on the hunt for the plane. Sammy and crew have scary adventures while looking for the plane, but they also find true friendship, which is the real treasure that shines throughout the story. 

Cole’s intimate line sketches in shades of grey depict realistic yet whimsically drawn flora and fauna. Illustrations of each character, whether the crow, newt, shrew or mouse that Sammy befriends, exudes a wealth of personality. Delightful hidden numbers may be spied in the artwork found at the beginning of each chapter.

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