Friday, February 24, 2017

Review: Samson, the Piranha Who Went to Dinner, by Tadgh Bentley

I believe I can quite confidently say that this is the cutest little piranha I have ever seen.


Look at the bow tie!

Samson wasn’t like other piranhas.
While other piranhas stayed close to home
He wanted to explore the world.
And while they stuck to the same old routine, swimming and chomping and scaring,
Samson liked to try new things
Most of all, Samson dreamed of eating fine foods at fancy restaurants.

So when not one but THREE new restaurants come to his corner of the sea, Samson can’t wait to try them all. There’s only one problem: With their big teeth and scary smiles, piranhas aren’t really welcome anywhere, let alone in fancy restaurants. Can Samson make his dream come true—and still be himself?  

The description immediately brought to mind the book Peanut Butter and Brains, a favorite that I just realized I never reviewed! Hmm. Back to Samson, though: if you can get past the sharp teeth, you can see he's actually smiling - he just has a slight underbite! If that's not enough, in the opening pages his bow tie is joined by an old brown satchel and familiar-looking brown hat, while we spot a treasure chest amidst ruins in the background.

Bentley's illustrations are fun to look through all on their own, as poor Samson tries to get some good food to sink his teeth into. With some new friends, he finally discovers the old expression: if you can't join 'em, beat 'em! (Isn't that how it goes?)

Speaking of unique expressions, the frightened restaurant staff uses some great ones, such as "Salty mother of mackerel!" See if your kids can come up with their own colorful-yet-safe expressions to use when they are excited.

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