Samson’s Tale by Carla Mooney and illustrated by Kathleen Spade (Story Pie Press, 2011) is a sensitive story about a boy dealing with recovery from leukemia, as viewed from the perspective of his best friend, his dog Samson. By telling the story from the dog’s perspective, there is an appropriate distance for the reader, thus avoiding melodrama that otherwise might belittle the delicate story.
Samson the dog wags his tail when he sees Daniel return home (finally) from the hospital, and he comforts and supports Daniel during his ill days. With this perspective, the story of Daniel’s recovery is memorable, and it shows what a loved one (in Daniel’s case, his best friend Samson) can do to support an ill child. The mixed media illustrations treat the story with sensitivity as well, and the overall result is one that may comfort children dealing with sick family or friends.
Note: I received a review copy from the publisher for consideration for the 2011 Cybils awards.