Don’t You Feel Well, Sam? by Amy Hest, illustrated by Anita Jeram
Everyone knows how it feels to be sick with a cold. And, parents know how they feel when their child is ill. Ideally, we’d like to drop everything and just hold the sick child, comforting them, and spending quiet time with them. Sometimes the reality is less than ideal – with the worried parent rushing around changing sheets and pjs (for the really messy kind of sickness), taking temperatures, administering medicine, urging the drinking of fluids and the wisdom of a nap. But, sometimes, the ideal happens, and we get that quiet, comforting time with our sick child, helping them feel better.
In Don’t You Feel Well, Sam?, we return to the sweet, comforting world of Sam and his mother, Mrs. Bear, from Kiss Good Night.
Mrs. Bear is tucking Sam into bed, and discovers he has a cough. Mrs. Bear gets cough medicine, but Sam doesn’t want to take it. Sam says it tastes bad. Then, the spoon is too big. Then, there is too much medicine.
Mrs. Bear looks out the window and sees that it will snow soon. She tells Sam that after he takes his cough medicine, they will go downstairs and wait for the snow together. Sam takes the medicine.
“He spluttered and snorted and made a big face, and the syrup went down.”
Mrs. Bear and Sam go into the kitchen, light a fire, make tea (with honey), and sit together near the window waiting for snow. Mrs. Bear tells Sam a story, then tells it again because Sam likes it so much.
“All through the night, Mrs. Bear and Sam sat in the big purple chair and waited. And finally, it snowed.”
The illustrations compliment the text beautifully – showing everything (house, Sam, Mrs. Bear) in a very loving, cozy way. One of the last pages shows Sam sitting on his mother’s lap in the big purple chair – both of them asleep – while it snows outside. The last page shows them outside, building a snowbear together. A sweet, comforting book to share with a child.