Book Review: Sam the Cat by Sam Bowring

Can you imagine someone literally taking your name?

Change is difficult at the best of times, but there are some unusual changes that Sam the Cat must come to accept. Not only has a new baby joined his family, but that baby has taken his name. The story line is so wacky that you wouldn’t believe it’s based on the true story of how author, Sam Bowring, was given his name.

Sam the Cat delves subtly into the themes of new siblings, jealousy and sibling rivalry. Sam Bowring has told the story well; although it is an emotional, and rather sad, story he balances that with humorous cat-like perspectives.

‘You can keep your name,’ he said. ‘But you better not have used my scratching post!’

Sam belongs to Ian and Jane. He knows his place and he knows his owners well. Sam starts to worry when he notices changes around the house, especially the growing size of Jane’s belly.

He has reason to worry. When Ian and Jane can’t think of a name for their new baby boy, they decide to take Sam’s name and give it to the baby.

Sam is unhappy. This decision leads to confusion, anger, feelings of abandonment, fear and leaving home. These feelings are particularly well illustrated by Andrew McLean.  Sam misses his family though, and decides that he can’t live without them, even if that means answering to a new name.

Have you got any interesting stories surrounding your name or your children’s names? This book will surely spark some interesting discussions with your children.

Book Details:

Author: Sam Bowring

Illustrator: Andrew McLean

ISBN: 978-1921504297

Format: Hardcover

Publisher: Working Title Press, February 2012

RRP: $24.95 (aud)

Suitable for ages: 4+

Book Review: Sam the Cat by Sam Bowring

  1. I’ve had many pets over the years… many of which I’ve really liked their names. But I’ve never considered naming my children after my pets. (actually my pets usually end up with wacky names that wouldn’t be very suitable for a child). Sounds like an interesting book.

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