More than a story of a gifted child learning to hone his talents, Sammie and Budgie is an exposé on the inner lives of children and their parents.
A widower and single father discovers, by chance, that his young son has developed clairvoyant abilities in Scott Semegran’s humorous Sammie and Budgie.
As they are leaving school one day, young Sammie tells his father, Simon, that the school aide will injure herself. Simon is shocked when it actually happens—and then he becomes curious. He works to learn more about premonitions following a few additional minor incidents.
The titular “Budgie” is a bird that Sammie yearns to adopt as a pet. Cute childlike illustrations throughout the text depict Sammie and Budgie, as well as other scenes in the story.
Simon, the narrator, speaks with a conversational voice that is consistent throughout the entire novel. He goes into great depth concerning his son’s newfound ability, as well as when describing his own day-to-day experiences, career, and personal life.
While the tone is entertaining and lighthearted, especially given the subject matter, the use of the phrase “it’s true” after paragraphs of exposition becomes repetitive after just a few chapters, and it is featured on nearly every other page. The consistency of Simon’s voice is admirable, though as character, and in his casualness, he is not always likable, to the extent that his narration becomes a point of frustration.
Much of the text consists of exposition and dialogue. While the writing quality is excellent and the dialogue between Simon and Sammie is immersive, there is little action to drive the plot forward. Much narrative propulsion involves Simon taking Sammie to doctor’s office and to and from school. Most of the book takes place at the family home, with Simon, Sammie, and Jessie, Simon’s older daughter, conversing about childhood topics—incidents that happened at school, children’s jokes, and the intricacies of children’s personalities.
More than a story of a gifted child learning to hone his talents, Sammie and Budgie is an exposé on the inner lives of children and their parents. The relationships between Simon and his children are thoroughly detailed, and much of the narration involves Simon thinking deeply about the development of Sammie’s and Jessie’s personalities. The outer life of the narrator may not make for a compelling plot, but his inner life is fascinating and superbly wrought.
Those interested in child psychology or clairvoyance will enjoy reading about Simon’s relationship with his children and will find plenty of laughs along the way.
Disclosure: This article is not an endorsement, but a review. The author of this book provided free copies of the book and paid a small fee to have their book reviewed by a professional reviewer. Foreword Reviews and Clarion Reviews make no guarantee that the author will receive a positive review. Foreword Magazine, Inc. is disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.