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Sammy the Seal

(I Can Read Level 1)

4.09  ·  Rating details ·  6,137 ratings  ·  137 reviews
Sammy, the adventurous seal, leaves the zoo for the day and ventures into the big, busy city. Along the way he finds a school full of kids and new things to do—and he even learns to read!

"So funny and so original that it promises to be one of the most successful books in this best-selling series." (Publishers Weekly)

Sammy the Seal is another hilarious, original story by
Paperback, 64 pages
Published January 5th 2000 by HarperCollins (first published 1959)
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Average rating 4.09  · 
Rating details
 ·  6,137 ratings  ·  137 reviews

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Andrea Cox
Sep 20, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
by Andrea Renee Cox

Cute story about a seal exploring the big world. I knocked off a star for the book being unrealistic. However, this book is a good one to open up a discussion about exploring the world verses the comforts of home. It was an enjoyable read. To me, it's a classic children's story that I loved when I was little and still am happy to read now that I'm grown.

I was not compensated for my honest review.
Aug 14, 2016 rated it really liked it
Sammy the Seal is the dystopian novel that 1984 was meant to be. What is Big Brother if not a semiaquatic anglophone determined to force himself into the lives of unsuspecting humans? Orwell envisioned a world where you were always being watched, whether you liked it or not. This, of course, pales in comparison to Syd Hoff's nightmarish conception of a totalitarian regime that grants a seal the right to take a bath IN YOUR TUB whenever it pleases, whether you like it or not.

Sammy is a despot
R. G. Nairam
Jul 16, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: own, early-readers
"I want to know what it is like outside the zoo," said the little seal. "I want to go out and look around."
"All right, Sammy," said Mr. Johnson. "You have been a good seal. You may go out and see."
Dec 08, 2010 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2010, picture-book
Maybe I would have loved this if I'd read it first when I was little. Reading it as an adult, it just seemed silly - and not in a good way. Why would the zookeeper let Sammy leave the zoo and go exploring around town? Why would the teacher let Sammy stay in school? How can Sammy learn to read and write in the space of two sentences? ("Sammy learns to read. Sammy learns to write.") I usually don't mind some silliness and a bit of fantasy in stories, but this one wasn't a favorite. I did enjoy Syd ...more
Apr 20, 2009 rated it it was amazing
I actually never read any of Syd Hoff's books until I picked this up at Barnes & Noble to read it to my niece at the store.

Sammy the Seal is a fun book about a seal who lives in a zoo, and he wants to see what's outside the zoo. Mr. Johnson, the zookeeper, lets Sammy the seal out of his cage (what?!) so he can explore the city. He wanders the streets and observes people, jumps into a man's bathtub, and eventually ends up in an elementary school classroom. Although he enjoys his adventures,
Emily Togstad
Jan 16, 2015 rated it really liked it
Emily Togstad
English 12
Sammy The Seal
I read a children’s book to Austin’s niece Skye. The book was called “Sammy the Seal” written by Syd Hoff. Skye enjoyed the seal. She thought he was really funny. She laughed a lot. I laughed a few times to. The book was really silly. I really liked the book.

The main character was a seal named Sammy. He liked exploring and he really loved eating fish. The zookeeper's name was Mr. Johnson. The zookeeper was really nice. He was Sammy’s friend. Sammy also
Dec 16, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A sweet story about Sammy, a seal, who is allowed to venture out of the zoo to see what the world is like, because he is very well behaved. I remember reading this book as a small child countless times and really enjoying both the story and the pictures. As an adult, I still find this book to be adorable and enjoyable. The illustrations are very crisp and clean and look like something a very talented child artist would create. SAMMY THE SEAL is a wonderful little book.

For those familiar with
A childrens' favorite that is sure to delight and stick with children for much years to come. The simple formatting of the writing is the doorway to beginning readers as they follow Sammy who isn't a seal but an actual sea lion.

The concept is cute and sweetly when you think the fact that a zookeeper would just allow one of his charges out to see the world to fit him. Then again looking at the confining spaces of this particular zoo it does make sense.

The pictures follow along sweet and simple
Gail Barge
Jan 19, 2011 rated it liked it
This book is a classic that I used to read with my Mother when I was a little girl. This book emphasizes the importance of learning about new places and meeting people who are different, all while upholding the importance of the love of home. Students could use this book to learn about different types of homes (single parent, divorced, different houses, different towns, etc.). Young students will enjoy the likable title character and his zoo friends.
Jun 25, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: parents reading with their children
This is a fun story - it's designed for beginning readers and has a simple narrative, but it is a bit long. Young readers might need to read it in parts. The idea of a seal going to school and playing sports is funny and quite fantastic. We enjoyed listening to this book narrated on audio CD by Charles Mintz while we followed along with the story.
Feb 11, 2009 rated it it was amazing
This is probably truly the first favorite book I ever had. I like this book so much that I read it to my daughter's Kindergarten class when I was a Mom Reader...

I remember reading it as a kid and laughing everytime...moral of the story, there's no place like home.

Now I collect Syd Hoff books. Strangely enough, I named my daughter Sydney...not after the author, though :)
Michael D.
Aug 22, 2011 rated it really liked it
This is a great read for teaching students science as it pertains to animals,natural habitat, diet, etc. An educator can also use the book to teach a little Geography. Sammy is a wonderful character for teaching students how to find one's place in the world.Also, it is a wonderful read for addressing the school culture and the purpose for attending school.
Luisa Knight
I love Syd Hoff's illustrations and you can't really go wrong with his stories either. Your beginning reader will enjoy this one, especially if you follow it up with a movie! When I was a kid, my mom happened to find the 1962 Disney "Sammy, the Way-Out Seal" and we watched it often, wishing we could put a seal in our bathtub too.

Reading Level: K - 3rd grades
Sammy Long
Aug 19, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: picturebook
this was one of my most favorite books as a kid. I really enjoy this illustrations the author uses. He is also one of my favorite authors for children's books.
Aug 21, 2015 rated it it was ok
I just can't get past the fact that there's a SEA LION pictured throughout the book.
Cute story for early readers. A seal tired of the zoo, tries to find his place, he is curious about everything. He loves school but is happy to go home, back to the zoo.

Anxious to see what life is like outside the zoo, Sammy the seal explores the city, goes to school, and plays with the children but decides that there really is no place like home.
Dec 17, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Samantha by: Alexandria King
I love Sammy! Such a great story...a total classic, must-read for every reader =)
Feb 03, 2018 rated it really liked it
I loved and memorized this book as a toddler, and it has been happily remembered for years. However, there is a logistical issue with it that we realized while watching video tapes the other night.

Sammy the "Seal" is a sea lion. Seals flop around on the ground to move, and do not have ear flaps. Sammy quite clearly has ear flaps and moves around with the help of his front flippers. If Sammy were a seal, he would have a far more difficult time going on this adventure.

Now, I realize that this
Jul 14, 2018 rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Arpita Shrivastava
Oct 11, 2019 rated it really liked it
This is a cute ’I can read level 1’ book great for kids learning to read or starting to read independently. This book is one of the kid's favorite for almost two decades now and still counting. This is one of those evergreen books, that never become old. You literally preserve them for your kids.

This story is about a seal named Sammy who wants to leave the zoo for a day to explore the world outside. He sees and perceives the world from his viewpoint. He has some good and some bad experiences.
Andria Davis
Jun 21, 2017 rated it really liked it
This book is about a seal that is sad because he wants to see the rest of the world outside the zoo. He goes on an adventure to see what life is like other places.

I think this is a fun kids book. It doesn't really teach a lesson but it is a cute story about the different things the seal experiences when he leaves the zoo and how excited he is to go back and tell all of his friends.

(Picture Book)
Stephanne Stacey
Jun 23, 2018 rated it really liked it
Good book for learners. My mother-in-law picked it out for my children back in the day. They liked how easy it was that my oldest decided she wanted to keep it for her future children. I'm sure they will like it as much as my children did.
Aik Kielch
Mar 02, 2017 rated it it was amazing
One book to go on vacation with a three year old---this one! We read this over and over as we traveled through Germany and Poland. It is a great story of a Seal's adventures outside of the zoo. One day it will turn into an I can read book for us but for now we enjoy a great story!
Sujatha Sankaran
Oct 23, 2016 rated it really liked it
This was one of the first books my five year old daughter read entirely on her own. It definitely made me feel nostalgic since I read it many times in my "I can read" phase as a child, and she thought it was hilarious. It does have a dated feel, but was still a great book for an early reader!
Hannah Lady
Apr 04, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: el-230
I use to love this book when I was younger. This book about Sammy the seal exploring the city, with all the kids. I really like how he explores the city. This teaches younger kids that it is okay to explore their dreams and the city.
Sep 13, 2018 rated it it was amazing
My favorite childhood book.
Dec 13, 2017 rated it it was amazing
My childhood favorite and it has my name Sammy
Oct 27, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: havs-books
Hav said it was ok
Lynn  Davidson
Oct 09, 2019 rated it really liked it
Sammy the seal lived in the zoo but one day he was allowed to go out to see what it was like outside. Fun illustrations.
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