Chicago Tribune
This book pays tribute to what it’s like to live with a beloved dog, in prime years and declining years. Barbara Walsh and Wyeth have delivered on all counts. [[read more]]

The Portland Press Herald / Maine Sunday Telegram
Why would a world-renowned painter illustrate a children’s book about the death of a family’s dog? For starters, the writer picked up the phone.[[read more]]

A Pulitzer Prize-winning author, Barbara Walsh has written a new children’s book about dealing with the death of a pet. For many children, the death of a pet is their first contact with the grief and pain caused by mortality. And, Maine artist Jamie Wyeth to agreed to illustrate it. MPBN’s Irwin Gratz sat down with Walsh and Wyeth in Tenant’s Harbor where Wyeth spends some of his time.[[read more]]

School Library Journal Starred Review
The feelings of the protagonist and the playful personality of the dog are palpably rendered in their facial expressions and body language. A generous trim size, universal subject appeal, and striking artwork add up to a picture book that can be enjoyed one-on-one or read independently. [[read more]]

Kirkus Reviews
A little girl grieves her beloved dog.
Sammy was a hound dog—possibly the best in the world. He loved his girl, and she loved him. Painter Wyeth’s realistic, evocative watercolors show Sammy and the girl sharing good times together…[[read more]]

Publishers Weekly
The title of Walsh’s debut and the use of the past tense make it clear that Sammy, “the best hound dog in the whole world,” is not going to make it: “Daddy found a bump on Sammy’s neck…[[read more]]

Sammy is the best hound dog in the whole world. He chases seagulls on the beach, pops bubbles in his favorite field, and suffers the indignities of dress-up with tolerance and grace. After he dies, the girl’s parents explain that he is everywhere now, and the family holds a special celebration to honor him. Though the girl struggles to accept her loss, she finally thinks she sees Sammy among the clouds, happily chasing bubbles. Walsh’s unflinching text offers an honest account of a beloved pets illness and death and the complex emotions grief brings. Wyeth’s vivid, painterly watercolors dance across the books spreads and add notes as they echo the joy of Sammy’s life and the sadness of his loss. The direct narrative and more sentimental artwork combine to create a story that is universally touching. – Thom Barthelmess

Sammy in the Sky Author Q&A
What inspired you to write Sammy in the Sky?
Sammy was our family’s frst dog. He was a lovable, loyal hound. He licked our daughter Emma’s cheeks when we brought her home from the hospital and slept by her crib at night. As the two of them grew older, Sammy became Emma’s faithful friend, the dog who allowed her to dress him up in floppy hats and lay still as she rested her dolls and teacups against his belly…[[read more]] (pdf)

SAMMY IN THE SKY. Illustrations copyright © 2011 by Jamie Wyeth. Reproduced by permission of the publisher, Candlewick Press, Somerville, MA.