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Mabel and Sam at Home
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Mabel and Sam at Home

3.73  ·  Rating details ·  196 ratings  ·  52 reviews
"This highly recommended tribute to the imagination is comprised of delightful pictures and three clever and entertaining stories." -Booklist, starred review

This playful and endearing book celebrates imaginative play as Mable and Sam move into a new house and make it their own. They sail the high seas of their new home, tour the intriguing museum of their livin
Hardcover, 60 pages
Published June 5th 2018 by Chronicle Books
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Average rating 3.73  · 
Rating details
 ·  196 ratings  ·  52 reviews

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Jun 22, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Thanks to @kidlitexchange #partner for access to a free review copy of this book!

What an awesome story for kids today to read! It follows Mabel and Sam on their first day in their new home after moving. The siblings keep out of the way of movers by engaging in fun, imaginative play. They go from captaining a ship across the sea, to acting as a tour guide in a museum, and end up traveling into outer space. I love love LOVE how this book emphasizes the joy that can be found in your own
Sep 15, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Full of childhood: bossy sisters, empty boxes, dread, comfort, all tied up in many flights of fancy.
Jordan Henrichs
Sep 26, 2018 rated it really liked it
For a picture book, I found Mabel and Sam to be a pit peculiar... On one hand, a bedtime reading could be spread out and read to children over the course of three nights during a family move. But on the other hand, since the chapters all fit together and make up Mabel and Sam's first full day in their home, breaking the story up feels a bit unnatural. This begs to be read in one sitting, but is a little too long for its style of book to do so. For what it's worth, two of my three young children ...more
Nancy Kotkin
Through imaginative play, a brother and sister adjust to moving to a new house. Very true to the coping mechanisms of young children. Dialogue is stellar. Lots of humor and heart in this picture book. Though extra long, the story holds your attention throughout the book. Illustrations extend the story through visual elements not in the text. The art is full of the same creative imagination as the story.
Jun 21, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2018, childrens-books
My son and I really enjoyed these adventures about moving to a new home and imagination. We've moved recently, so he could relate to what was going on. I loved the imaginative play. When we were done reading, he went and got boxes out of the garage to build a rocket ship to play in. That's a good recommendation in my book.

My one problem with it - other than Mabel being a little bit bossy to her brother, but that's probably accurate - is that in the third adventure, parts were difficu
Leonard Kim
Jul 10, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I'm a Linda Urban fan, and I think this is one of the best things she's ever done. It reminds me of the first Bink and Gollie book, and I think it is arguably as good. I'm a little irked at no one in particular that I had no idea this was coming out. It was just dumb luck I found out about it.

Read the e-book on Hoopla (which separates the text from the illustrations).
Laura Harrison
Nov 01, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Wish this book was getting more attention. A truly fun read with charming illustrations.
Settling into a new home may be exciting in many ways, but it is also a bit traumatic, especially for youngsters who are leaving behind familiar spaces and play areas. In this picture book, siblings Mabel and Sam find a way to deal with the unfamiliarity through playing games. First, they designate a safe place--a large box on a rug--and pretend to sail the seven seas. Next they tour their surroundings, noting familiar objects and furniture in its new setting, and finally, they become astronauts ...more
Becky B
Oct 18, 2018 rated it really liked it
Mabel and Sam occupy themselves during the family's move by imaging themselves at sea in a moving box, then they take a tour of a museum in the new house, and a trip to outer space.

This reads like a Frog and Toad type book. I like the way these intrepid explorers face their new move with excitement. Most moving books are about the hardships of moving, and few explore the fact that sometimes kids can be really excited about a move. Mabel and Sam marvel over the way old things look dif
I love this and the fact that it is three chapters that can be read as different stories because it may be too long as a read aloud for the preschoolers, for whom I think it may have been intended. However, I do think the first chapter might be great for parents right before a move. The illustrations are lovely. It is amazing how often when I love the whole package of a book, I look back and in my head say "Oh, of course, it's Chronicle". Parents will be able to share and use this with kids faci ...more
I love, love, love the illustrations of this, and the focus on imaginative play! This book is a bit too long for my storytimes, alas, but would be a great set of bedtime stories (or a possibly as most of a storytime for older preschool or elementary kids), as it's really three stories in one. Mabel and her little brother Sam and their family are moving to a new home, and the stories take place amongst the packing and then unpacking, with the last one just before bed at the new house. Mabel gets ...more
Jun 28, 2018 rated it it was amazing
As an educator, as a school (and public) librarian, you have goals to accomplish with your students (and young patrons) every day of every week throughout the year. The most rewarding thing about these plans is that they can change significantly from paper to practice. Responses given to you by the children necessitate alterations. They may think, speak and act far differently than you envision. And that is a thing of beauty.

Their ability to assess a situation and imagine an unexpect
Kat Harrison
Jul 19, 2018 rated it really liked it
For a picture book, MABEL AND SAM AT HOME packs quite the punch. The story is rooted in one family's moving day, which can be a scary and anxious time for all involved (even the parents!), and is then broken up into three imaginative sections: on a ship, in a museum, and in space; which could easily be read at three separate bedtimes. Siblings Mabel and Sam use these creative settings to get through the day, and the writer/illustrator duo of Linda Urban and Hadley Hooper help to transform everyd ...more
Mar 21, 2018 rated it really liked it
Moving day can be pretty scary! Where can two young children go to avoid all the chaos - and maybe deal with uncertainty too. Here, Mabel declares she is the captain of a ship and commandeers little brother Sam to be First Mate and follow orders.

This is a picture book with three separate but connected chapter adventures. Charming, funny and reassuring, the stories provide a wonderful way to introduce or discuss this this experience.

Hadley Hooper's illustrations are adorab
Mar 13, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Very true to childhood chapter book about a somewhat bossy older sister and a somewhat compliant younger brother who embark on a series of adventures tied to moving to a new home. the sister leads the adventures, the younger brother follows along but adds his own "panache" at times. They travel in a boat, tour a museum and visit space. The language can be a bit challenging but that adds to the fun and the illustrations have the incompleteness that relate to children's art. Imaginative, original ...more
Oct 09, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: picture-books
Children Mabel and Sam move to a new home. As packers and parents zoom around them arranging household goods, the two children explore their new place while sailing the high seas, touring a museum and flying through space.
Mabel and Sam at Home is written in short chapters and each of the three chapters works as a stand alone story. I will read one chapter per week in storytime. I believe the preschool children will be enraptured by the vastness of Mabel and Sam's imaginations and the warm and c
Sep 13, 2018 rated it liked it
Moving theme where the kids make the best of the boxes as the movers and parents move things into a new home. Mabel becomes the sea captain and Sam the first mate on the Handle With Care ship. Very imaginative as they sail in their boat/box on the blue rug/sea.They go ashore for food and then tour the museum/home, and outer space all in their box rocket. Very imaginative children and their adventure.
Moving to a new home is never easy. For adults it means a lot of work packing, moving, organizing, cleaning, etc. For kids it can be hard to get used to a new house, new rooms, new noises, etc. Mabel and her little brother, Sam, make the best of the move by using their imaginations to become sailors, museum tour guides, and astronauts exploring new worlds. This would be a great book to share with young readers who have recently experienced a move or are about to move.
Nov 24, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: picture-books, srg
I got a kick out of this book. It felt very much like Stella and Sam to me, with the older sister gently calling the shots and explaining the rules of their imaginary encounters, and the younger brother sometimes finding ways to use those rules to his own advantage. A loving portrait of siblings and imagination, with the backdrop of their recent move to a new home as the common thread through all the stories.
Aug 13, 2018 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: preschool-2nd grade
Imaginative sibling play as a family moves into their new home. There's humor and love along with great vocabulary as big sis Mabel and her brother Sam venture out to sea, to a museum, and into space before landing on 'planet perfecto', aka their new home. Illustrations add to the story.

This would make a good read aloud, a good choice for families with children looking for something that both a 4 year old and 7 year old would enjoy.

Read alike for Charlie and Mouse.
David Burgess
Jul 28, 2018 rated it liked it
Two siblings carry out the joys of special language and relationships that typically develop between children who are close in age during the developing years. The author captures very well this special relationship and even introduces new words and concepts in this multi-scenario, creative play adventure! This book is a reminder that there are many creative things that children are capable of doing to keep themselves busy, learning and entertained at the same time!
Dec 18, 2018 rated it it was amazing
It's moving day for Mabel and Sam's family, which means all the toys are packed up and all the adults are busy. What are two bored kids to do? Use their imaginations of course!

Loved the illustrations, and the depiction of how creativity can turn an old box into a sailboat, or a spaceship, or a museum. Mabel and Sam were full of personality.
Jul 22, 2018 rated it really liked it
A sweet book filled with imagination. Two children and their parents are moving into their new home. Using their imagination, the children go on great adventures to help make the transition to something new and a bit scary. I loved the illustrations and the celebration of siblings and the power of imagination and creativity.
Debbie Tanner
This adorable little picture/chapter book is about Mabel and Sam. Their family is moving and they're trying to stay out of the way, have a little fun, and process the whole idea of moving. Mabel dreams up three different adventures - a sea voyage, a museum tour, and space journey. It's a lovely little story.
Sep 24, 2018 rated it really liked it
Read for Librarian Book Group

A series of adventures Mabel and Sam have while moving into a new house. I loved the sister/brother relationship, especially the take-charge nature of the older sister. The 50s-style drawings were delightful and it was fun to see what the pets were up to while the children played.
Jun 08, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: picture-books
Mabel and Sam explore their new home from the safety of a box (ship), a museum tour (to find where things are) and a bed (space ship).
Detailed illustrations transform the ordinary objects into their imaginary terrains.
Krissy Neddo
Jun 22, 2018 rated it really liked it
For sharing together- parent and child(ren). Too small in size and dark on dark illustrations for large group sharing. Yes, Mabel is the bossy, older sister, but I know some families with the same dynamic!! :)
Two siblings play in a moving box while adults move them into their new home. There are three stories as they engage in three different sets of imaginative play. I like the way they interact together: they play nicely and sound like an older "know it all" and a younger "sponge."
Cara Byrne
Feb 16, 2019 rated it liked it
In short vignettes, Mabel and Sam go on new adventures as they slowly become more accustomed to their new home. My preschooler enjoyed reading about their "trips" the museum and travels to outer space.
Sep 07, 2018 rated it really liked it
Fun way to deal with moving into a new house. I love that Mabel is in charge every time, as an older sibling would be. The colors and textures are great. The imagination is definitely the focal point of the story and Hooper illustrates it grandly. Hope to see more of these siblings.
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This was from the About Me section at Linda Urban's website.

I was born in Detroit, Michigan, and raised in a suburban house that looked like all the others on my street. Sometimes I liked that sameness. It made me feel normal, when I worried I wasn’t.

Other times, though, I wanted to be different — to shine, to have people see me as special. I tried ballet dancing and singing and