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Number one Sam
2014
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Summary
They're off! Sam is the best race-car driver in history-he is number one at every race!
But when his best friend, Maggie, shows that she has racing talent of her own, Sam doesn't know how to handle coming in second place. Will he learn what it truly means to be a winner?

Trade Reviews
School Library Journal Review
PreS-Gr 1-Sam is used to winning everything, including car racing, his sport of choice. His wall of trophies and trinkets show off his talent for success until the day the unthinkable happens: the pup loses the big race because he stops for a group of oblivious chickens in the middle of the track. Then his cheering friends and the chickens let him know that he is still number one with them. Children will be able to relate to Sam's disappointment when he loses while also understanding the concept that winning isn't always everything. Pizzoli's playful, cartoon illustrations perfectly showcase the message in a fun way yet never come off as didactic. Pizzoli's use of four-color art provides an airy, uncluttered vision for his story that will definitely attract children. The simple yet exciting text drives the story forward and will make it a popular choice at storytimes.-Christopher Lassen, Brooklyn Public Library (c) Copyright 2014. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Booklist Review
They don't make dog racers better than Sam: He was number one in speed. He was number one at turns. And he was number one at finishing races in the number-one spot. On the day of the big race, he is happy and confident and steers his racer (which looks rather like a hot dog) around the track, neck and neck with elephant buddy Maggie. Then, with an effective color shift from bright pastels to moody blues, Sam lost. Young readers will identify with the shock of unexpected failure, as Sam arrives at the next big race quiet and nervous. (Observant sorts will notice the 1 on his race car has been crossed out in favor of 2.) But there are more important things than winning, as Sam gives up the lead to scoop some duckies off the path. Pizzoli's follow-up to the 2014 Geisel Award-winning The Watermelon Seed (the starring crocodile makes a cameo here) again uses cheery Rocky-and-Bullwinkle-style illustrations and sparse text to pull off a far more emotional feat than you'd expect.--Kraus, Daniel Copyright 2010 Booklist
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