Our three year old granddaughter loved this book

Our 3 year old granddaughter Ada was enchanted by An Island For Sam, Sandra Dickson’s true story of a Shetland pony named Sam who rode the Laura B, a Port Clyde ferry, to Monhegan where the pony’s owner, Aunt Peggy, turned the pony over to her young 5th-grade niece.

Ada loves horses and points them out in the fields as she rides to school. So of course, she loved this story, which is told in the voice of the niece. Ada was very excited to see that Sandra had autographed the book to her, and when I told her it was hers to keep, she said, “Grampy, can I keep it forever?”

We’ve visited Sandra’s wonderful art gallery on Monhegan, where the pony’s home was. Islanders were very excited by the arrival of the pony and helped the niece’s family build a horse barn.

A large crowd gathered to welcome Sam as the ferry arrived. “Sam leaped off the boat, greeted by cheers, and trotted up the ramp as though he did that sort of thing every day,” says the niece. “At the top of the hill, Uncle Zimmy came out of his gift shop. ‘My, my’ he said, ‘What a cunnin’ little fella. He’s the first hoss we’ve had here on the island for thirty years.”

The story is told in a coloring book, which Ada took to with enthusiasm. Every page offers a different scene to color, so the book will keep her busy for a long time. Ada lives in Massachusetts, so I was going to bring the book back home to write this review, but Ada insisted on keeping it, so I wrote this the night after our Thanksgiving feast.

Sandra Mason Dickson has spent every summer and twelve winters on Monhegan Island, a favorite place for Linda and me. In the winter, she now lives in Port Clyde, where she operates the Sunlight Studio. In summer and fall, you’ll find her on Monhegan in her Lupine Gallery.

Sandra’s daughter Lisa attended Monhegan’s one-room school and she, along with Susan Hirschman, helped with this story. And Sandra tells me it is just a coincidence that her grandson is named Sam!

George Smith

About George Smith

George stepped down at the end of 2010 after 18 years as the executive director of the Sportsman’s Alliance of Maine to write full time. He writes a weekly editorial page column in the Kennebec Journal and Waterville Morning Sentinel, a weekly travel column in those same newspapers (with his wife Linda), monthly columns in The Maine Sportsman magazine, two outdoor news blogs (one on his website, georgesmithmaine.com, and one on the website of the Bangor Daily News), and special columns for many publications and newsletters. Islandport Press published a book of George's favorite columns, "A Life Lived Outdoors" in 2014. In 2014, George also won a Maine Press Association award for writing the state's bet sports blog. In 2016, Down East Books published George's book, Maine Sporting Camps, and Islandport Press published George and his wife Linda's travel book, Take It From ME, about their favorite Maine inns and restaurants.