"Moonshine is flummadiddle. Real is the opposite." So explains Bangs, the cat, to Sam, short for Samantha, in the timeless treasure Sam, Bangs & Moonshine by Evaline Ness.
Samantha, or rather Sam, has a problem telling the difference between what is real and what is not. She claims to have a mermaid for a mother, a fierce lion, a baby kangaroo and a talking cat. Sam's father admonishes her to tell the truth: "Today, for a change, talk real, not moonshine. Moonshine spells trouble."
And trouble might be just what Sam gets when she sends her friend Thomas to Blue Rock where she claims her baby kangaroo has gone. Thomas dutifully follows instructions, but then a sudden storm threatens everything.
I won't say anymore, except that this is a beautiful little story that gently teaches the reason why truth is better than falsehood. It's appropriate for a family reading time, or for an independent reader to read on his own.
This book was awarded the Caldecott Medal in 1967. The Caldecott Medal is presented annually to the artist of the most distinguished American picture book for children. Click here for a list of Caldecott Medal winners over the years. SSJCPL branches own most of these distinguished books; check them out and share them with your family!