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Something Wonderful

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Sam likes to pull things apart and put them back together, and think about how things work. But he is sometimes so busy doing this, he forgets his chores on the family farm. Then one day he creates something truly wonderful . . . An inspirational story about discovery, invention and the importance of dreams.


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Sam likes to pull things apart and put them back together, and think about how things work. But he is sometimes so busy doing this, he forgets his chores on the family farm. Then one day he creates something truly wonderful . . . An inspirational story about discovery, invention and the importance of dreams.

41 review for Something Wonderful

  1. 4 out of 5

    Suzie Bookgirl

    Sam is a thinker and sometimes a dreamer and he loves to try things out. One day he is caught in a rain shower and is inspired to see things in a whole different way. I love this story. I love the imagination and the creativity. I love that Sam's parents let him figure out his world largely without interference. This story is a simple and straight forward narrative made both touching and beautiful by the gorgeous illustrations. It is great just to read quietly with one child or to use as the bas Sam is a thinker and sometimes a dreamer and he loves to try things out. One day he is caught in a rain shower and is inspired to see things in a whole different way. I love this story. I love the imagination and the creativity. I love that Sam's parents let him figure out his world largely without interference. This story is a simple and straight forward narrative made both touching and beautiful by the gorgeous illustrations. It is great just to read quietly with one child or to use as the base for activities with a whole group of children.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Jess

    3.5 stars Every now and then you stumble across a book that is like nothing else on the market, and in many ways that's what Something Wonderful is. Something Wonderful is a celebration of being different and thinking outside the box, about being imaginative and being yourself. It's a story of frustration and acceptance. It's uniquely rural Australian and just a little bit perfect within it's imperfections. The first thing that stood out for me with this book was Raewyn Caisley's dedication: Sam i 3.5 stars Every now and then you stumble across a book that is like nothing else on the market, and in many ways that's what Something Wonderful is. Something Wonderful is a celebration of being different and thinking outside the box, about being imaginative and being yourself. It's a story of frustration and acceptance. It's uniquely rural Australian and just a little bit perfect within it's imperfections. The first thing that stood out for me with this book was Raewyn Caisley's dedication: Sam is real person. He grew up in a small country town in Western Australia. He works at a famous University in Europe, where he is trying to figure out what is in-between the smallest things. This book is dedicated to Sam, and to all the creative thinkers. Firstly this dedication tells me two things about the book before I've even started reading it. The first being that the book is inspired by true events and that Sam is very much loved. Secondly, that Raewyn values creative thinking, especially in children where it is often valued only for a short period of time until it gets in the way of 'real-life' and is pushed to the side and beaten down by many, especially those living in remote areas where it is all hands on deck to keep the farm running. This is a generalisation of course, but it happens to many children in both the country and the city. Sam is a country kid living on his family farm in Western Australia. Like most kids, his parent's expect him to do chores, but unlike city kids, his chores MUST be done otherwise the chickens don't get fed and goats can prove problematic for the clothesline. Sam's father grows continually frustrated with Sam's lack of focus with his farm chores, until one day when Sam shelters from the rain in the shed and begins to tinker with the tools. What he creates, quickly changes his father's mind. Something Wonderful features beautiful full double page spread illustrations that depict the most seductive images of rural Australian living through it's high skies and vast paddocks. The Australian landscape with its drought stricken hues really shines through in this book, and it's quite a relief to see it reflected. Although I know we have a vast array of picture books set in Australia out there, I can't think of a single title off that top of my head that represents an honest depiction of rural life both through the text and accompanying illustration. Especially once that's not drowned in Australiana references and flashy animalia images such as Kangaroos, Emus and Koalas. Don't get me wrong, there's nothing wrong with books that have these animals featured in them, as they are uniquely Australian icons, and all of them can be found in the wild of the outback, especially on remote farms. But a story doesn't always need the in-your-face-Aussie references to say, 'hey, look this is Australian living.' Actually, the only animals pictured and referenced in the text are found globally such a the chicken on the front cover. Which makes this book appeal to a larger audience then just Aussie kids, as even if the Australian experience is not something easily recognised, these animals are at least. Sam was so busy he sometimes forgot to feed the chickens, move the goat, and collect the eggs. Tension grows slightly between Sam and his father as Sam appears to routinely forget about his chores, leaving his father to pick up his slack. 'Make yourself useful, Sam' Dad would say. 'There's work to be done.' Sam would help but then something would catch his eye. Although I'm sure this isn't a uniquely country feeling, I feel that this message conveys a lot more about Sam's character and his relationship with his Dad in this instance, then say the same book set in the city would have. I read his father's frustrations into the text, his growing annoyance that his son is consistently unreliable with the farm work which wouldn't be ideal for a remote farm when everything is done by those on the property. I also felt that Sam's father was struggling to connect perhaps with his son, who appeared to day dream more than he felt he should. That although he clearly loves his son very much, that there was undercurrent of tension present as there often is in small communities when someone doesn't act the same way as the majority. Sam's ability to day dream, and imagine things beyond what his eyes could see before them, turns out to be his blessing. For when he is stuck in the shed sheltering from the rain storm one afternoon, he begins to tinker and invent things. He played and fiddled, tweaked and turned. If something didn't work, he tried another way until at least the rain's music stopped. It's not until the rain stops and Sam emerges with a new machine to help with the chores, that his father recognises his differences for what they are. Sam simply sees the world a different way, and that's perfectly fine. Now not only is Sam a day dreamer and feather chasing child, but he is also an innovative and creative child who has an eye for detail and the way things work. I really love the idea that the Sam in this book was a child who just wanted to play and was smart enough to invent a way in which we could do more of just that. No matter which way you read this book, I don't think you can discount the theory that because Sam spent so much time outside playing allowed his imagination to run more freely, and thus his creative side was more energetic. He wasn't stuck inside surrounded by mountains of technology thinking for him, solving his problems for him even. Instead he did that himself, and the rest as they say is history. Something Wonderfulis a really sweet, contemporary and rural picture book that celebrates day dreaming, creative thinking and tinkering to explore what we can find and what we do. It's a special little book that highlights the differences between people, while reassuring us that we are okay just the way we are. There is all a little bit of something wonderful inside of us all. This review was originally posted over at The Never Ending Bookshelf on April 11, 2016 and can be found here: http://wp.me/p3yY1u-R0

  3. 5 out of 5

    D.peabody

    Sam is a thinker and sometimes a dreamer and he loves to try things out. One day he is caught in a rain shower and is inspired to see things in a whole different way. I love this story. I love the imagination and the creativity. I love that Sam's parents let him figure out his world largely without interference. This story is a simple and straight forward narrative made both touching and beautiful by the gorgeous illustrations. It is great just to read quietly with one child or to use as the bas Sam is a thinker and sometimes a dreamer and he loves to try things out. One day he is caught in a rain shower and is inspired to see things in a whole different way. I love this story. I love the imagination and the creativity. I love that Sam's parents let him figure out his world largely without interference. This story is a simple and straight forward narrative made both touching and beautiful by the gorgeous illustrations. It is great just to read quietly with one child or to use as the base for activities with a whole group of children.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Nicola

    #STEM #imagination A wonderful book that is likely to resonate with some ASD / ADHD families or those with creative tinkerers. I love the information that he grew up to be a Professor. Miss 4 and I like to explore different books and authors at the library, sometimes around particular topics or themes. We try to get different ones out every week or so; it's fun for both of us to have the variety and to look at a mix of new & favourite authors. #STEM #imagination A wonderful book that is likely to resonate with some ASD / ADHD families or those with creative tinkerers. I love the information that he grew up to be a Professor. Miss 4 and I like to explore different books and authors at the library, sometimes around particular topics or themes. We try to get different ones out every week or so; it's fun for both of us to have the variety and to look at a mix of new & favourite authors.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Nancy White

    This book is full of interesting and specific verbs! It's also a great story about construction and about how clever children can be when given the space to experiment and invent. This book is full of interesting and specific verbs! It's also a great story about construction and about how clever children can be when given the space to experiment and invent.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Malvina

    Young Sam, living on a country farm in Western Australia, sometimes gets distracted from the everyday jobs he has to do (like collecting the eggs) by other stuff, like - is a raindrop round? He pulls things apart, puts them back together, sometimes in an inventive new way, and thinks and dreams a lot. What a gorgeous book. Apparently the real Sam is now a physicist at a European university, so all that dreaming and thinking and inventing paid off. Inspirational.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Nadine

    #creativity #STEAM Sam is a creative forgetful daydreamer and then he tinkers and makes something wonderful.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Anna Davidson

    I can't believe I haven't seen this book before. I LOVED it - the illustrations, the story, the messages. A great Makerspace book. I can't believe I haven't seen this book before. I LOVED it - the illustrations, the story, the messages. A great Makerspace book.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Pauline

  10. 5 out of 5

    Paul

  11. 4 out of 5

    Patricia

  12. 5 out of 5

    Glenda

  13. 4 out of 5

    Siobhan Roulston

  14. 5 out of 5

    Christy

  15. 4 out of 5

    Hannah

  16. 5 out of 5

    Alice

  17. 4 out of 5

    Susanne

  18. 5 out of 5

    Zoe

  19. 5 out of 5

    Dave

  20. 5 out of 5

    Anne Forrest

  21. 5 out of 5

    Jessica

  22. 4 out of 5

    Carmel

  23. 4 out of 5

    Jill

  24. 5 out of 5

    Sharlene Evans

  25. 4 out of 5

    Seelie

  26. 5 out of 5

    Eliza

  27. 5 out of 5

    Georgie

  28. 4 out of 5

    ourlittlelibrary

  29. 4 out of 5

    Oznasia

  30. 5 out of 5

    Mere

  31. 4 out of 5

    Ricky

  32. 5 out of 5

    ISLN (Int'l School Library Network) Singapore

  33. 4 out of 5

    DCSGDSLibrary

  34. 4 out of 5

    Kelsey

  35. 4 out of 5

    Nerina Gray

  36. 4 out of 5

    Megan Golding

  37. 5 out of 5

    Sally

  38. 5 out of 5

    Serene

  39. 5 out of 5

    Kate

  40. 4 out of 5

    Vikki

  41. 5 out of 5

    Harriet Thomas

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