SAMMY’S BROKEN LEG (OH, NO!) and the AMAZING CAST THAT FIXED IT by Judith Wolf Mandell, Illustrated by Lise C. Brown ~ Lucy’s Library Review

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Illustrated by Lise C. Brown

5 Stars


One minute your child is fine. The next minute, a broken bone. Hours later, in a clunky cast. For weeks or months, sidelined from favorite activities. If your child is like Sammy, (s)he gets glum and grumpy as days slog by.

Help is pages away in Sammy’s Broken Leg (Oh, No!) and the Amazing Cast That Fixed It, a whimsical book to entertain a child in a cast for healing a broken bone, or in a spica cast for hip correction (hip dysplasia).

Children in a cast will delight in a troupe of Kisses who cheer for Sammy and coach her to be patient. The Kisses are Sammy’s secret: only she can hear them. How and when they whooshed into her life will amaze and amuse.

It all goes to prove: One Kiss for a Boo-Boo. A Bazillion Kisses for a Cast!

Lavished with colorful, quirky illustrations, Sammy’s Broken Leg (Oh, No!) and the Amazing Cast That Fixed It is entertaining, educational and encouraging. The book:

Gives children and families realistic expectations about weeks or months of healing time.
Eases children’s fears, calms parents’ anxieties.
Hands parents a tool to boost their child’s (and their own) patience.


SAMMY’S BROKEN LEG (OH, NO!) AND THE AMAZING CAST THAT FIXED IT began with a phone call: could I watch our infant granddaughter while my daughter rushed the two-year-old to the pediatrician. An “Oh, No!” fall had broken her leg. Eleven hours later I was handed a sleepy, scared child encased in purple fiberglass. The words “beached whale” came to mind.

The next month was hard as we watched pain, immobility and disruption of her vigorous life turn our granddaughter into a sad, scrawny version of her robust self. I vowed to someday write a book to help other young children and their families cope with the physical and emotional upset of life interrupted by a cast.


*gives children and their families realistic expectations about a prolonged recuperation; and
*gives children a secret, whimsical source of power over their circumstance. The idea of a troupe of cheerleading kisses came as an “A-ha,” inspired by a line from CYRANO DE BERGERAC: “A kiss is the rosy dot over the ‘i’ of loving.”

With degrees from top-notch universities — a Bachelor of Arts in English from the University of Michigan and a Masters of Arts from Harvard Graduate School of Education — I’ve had a razzle-dazzle writing career. I’ve been publicist for The Viking Press in Manhattan; in San Diego, public television producer, print journalist, mayoral press secretary and public relations practitioner; book reviewer and essayist. SAMMY is my first book.

Eight years in the making, SAMMY has been an adventure, a challenge and an exercise in trusting my judgment. I sent the early manuscript to friends and relatives. Most loved it, some disputed The Kisses. Harumph! Do these nay-sayers dispute Santa, Peter Pan, the Tooth Fairy?

Over time, research led to rewrites. My Katie heroine became a tomboyish Sammy when I learned that boys have twice the fractures as girls; a second grade “focus group” helped me choose from among alternative endings. I sent the manuscript to pediatricians, psychologists, educators to make sure my story stood up to professional scrutiny. Their testimonials are on the book’s back cover.

Networking rules! After an online search brought artists’ portfolios from around the world, I
I found my illustrator, Lise C. Brown, eight miles from home. Unusual in author/illustrator arrangements, our relationship has been collaborative and collegial. I treasure it.

I also treasure this compliment from Mark Levine, well-known author of six editions of THE FINE PRINT OF SELF-PUBLISHING:

“I read your entire book. You are an example of how to proactively and successfully create a publishable children’s book. The illustrations are definitely page-turners for a child. I also thought the story and illustrations balanced each other well. Plus, your resourcefulness in finding an illustrator and getting the files made for the various distribution platforms is impressive.”

Find out more about my book on SAMMY’S BROKEN LEG Facebook page and at Be in touch with me at


As a retired nurse, this book should be mandatory in every Pediatric Hospital and Pediatrician’s office. Having witnessed young children having this procedure, and having had a body cast myself, it can be frightening.

The message in this book, and the colorful and age appropriate illustrations, explains the before, during and after of having to be in a cast and what to expect.

I loved the concept of all the kisses (vague…you will have to buy this book to find out) finding their way into the cast!!!

Little ones, unfortunately, may have to go through this, so keep this title in your mind, it will definitely help!

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Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from THE CADENCE GROUP. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

I do not have any affiliation with or Barnes & Noble. I am providing link(s) solely for visitors that may be interested in purchasing this Book/EBook.

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