#PPBF: Sam, Sebbie and Di-Di-Di at the Night Safari – Teaching Cooperation with Picture Books

Today is Perfect Picture Book Friday, but I have some exciting news to share first…I just completed Susanna Leonard Hill’s Making Picture Book Magic class.


I can honestly say that I learned more about writing picture books during the one month online course than I did in the last two years. More importantly, it was a hands-on experience ALL THE WAY – personally mentored by the lovely Susanna and filled with amazing comraderie and feedback from the other attendees…thank you to Jeanine, Carrie, Dana, Linda, Heather and Kirsten…for your support, encouragement and inspiration.

Don’t you love getting packages in the mail?

Yesterday the doorbell rang. The mailman had a package for me…I had to sign for it because it was from Singapore. I opened it carefully and took a deep breath, hoping I could bring back the scents of that beautiful city.

I wasn’t able to detect anything in the air, but the contents more than made up for that. TWO PICTURE BOOKS from leading Singapore author, David Seow! Hip hip hooray!

I don’t want to overwhelm you, so I’m reviewing one today and will save the other for another time. I read this one to my grandson last night…he loved it and wanted to hear it again…and we all know that is the sign that an author and illustrator have been successful. If you want to take a look at more wonderful picture book reviews, please visit Susanna Leonard Hill for this week’s contributions or access her amazing list of over 1000 picture book reviews on her blog.


Sam, Sebbie and Di-Di-Di at the Night Safari

Written by David Seow

Illustrated by Soefara Jafney

Publisher: Epigram Books (2013 – this is a new edition – it was first published in 1999)

Ages: 4 and up

Themes: Problem-solving, teamwork, animals

Opening Lines:

“Sam, Sebbie and Di-Di-Di clapped their hands with delight. They were going to the Night Safari, the only zoo that’s open at night.”


Three young kids are excited to join their parents on an evening trip to the zoo. They travel through the night safari on a tram, meeting elephants, zebras and lions. When the tram tracks are blocked by a sleeping giraffe, all the animals try to help. Finally, the three children decide to politely whisper in the giraffe’s ear to ask him to move.

Why  I like this book:

  • Great read-aloud
  • Wonderful message of teamwork and courtesy
  • Bold, bright illustrations
  • Another gem from the multi-published author David Seow…this book
  • I read this to my five-year old grandson…after the first few pages, he was already chanting the names of the children – Sam, Sebbie and Di-Di-Di!

How a parent can use this book:

  • Lovely read-aloud – for bed-time (I love stories where the kids are sleeping at the end…monkey see – monkey do) or anytime
  • Talk about animals – where do the animals in the zoo come from – how can we work together to preserve animal habitats
  • Look at a map of the world and find deserts, mountain ranges, oceans, jungles, forests
  • Talk about the steps we can take when we want to solve a problem

If you’d like to find out more about author David Seow and his books:

David Seow’s Website and Blog

David Seow’s Facebook

Night at the Safari on Amazon

Related Activities

mbaggiraffePhoto courtesy http://www.dltk-kids.com

For complete instructions: http://www.dltk-kids.com/animals/mbaggiraffe.htm

Find simple activities like this one in my book

you can purchase it on Amazon!

Recommended by teachers, parents and children!!!

“What a lovely book! Parents will find inspiration in this delightful guide to reading and planning activities.” Katherine Holabird, author of the Angelina Ballerina series

IMPORTANT NEWS: Katherine will be one of our featured authors on Will Write for Cookies at the end of the year…I’m so excited!

“Show Me How is a wonderful resource!” Norman Bridwell, creator of Clifford the Big Red Dog series

“A timeless book that is sure to be a family favorite!” Sheila Glazov, personality expert and author of What Color is Your Brain




I know Clar has some awesome thoughts to share with us!

About Vivian Kirkfield

Writer for children - Reader forever Mom of 3, educator, author of SHOW ME HOW! BUILD YOUR CHILD'S SELF-ESTEEM THROUGH READING, CRAFTING AND COOKING. freelance writer, picture book junkie, love to travel, hike, cook, play Monopoly with my 5-year old grandson and go fly-fishing with my husband.

Posted on February 27, 2014, in Cooperation, David Seow, Perfect Picture Book Friday and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 29 Comments.

  1. I have my personalized copy from David too and it’s delightful read! Susanna’s course sounds interesting. I’m adding it to my to-do course!

  2. Congratulations on finishing the class. It’s awesome!
    The books sounds great. I love anything involving safaris! Hope you have a wonderful Friday!

    • Thanks so much, Stacy…and I expect to see your Safari/savannah story on bookshelves one day.:)
      I know I’m going to love the Making Picture Book Magic FB page…looks like it’s a great community of helpful alumni!

  3. I have one more module in the Australian Writer’s Centre course, Writing Picture Books. I agree I’ve learned so much. Did you publish a book at the end. It’ would be interesting to compare notes, and stories. :)

    • Good for you, Marsha! No, we didn’t publish a book…but the pb manuscript that I emerged with at the end of the course is one that I love…as much because I created it from beginning to end…and learned invaluable techniques that I’ll be able to use when I create every other pb manuscript.from now on…kind of like a template of writing a picture book. :) I’d love to connect with you and compare notes. :)

      • I did market research yesterday, and there are thousands of books in one bookstore alone. Of all that I read, there were only 4 that called my name. One touched my heart. That means that there are only a few 500 word picture books that are well worth the $20 that people pay. I want OURS to be 2 of those! :)

      • Marsha…I’m excited to connect with you…we are both on an amazing journey…and on such journeys, it is wonderful to have good traveling companions.:) I’ll try to email you tomorrow. :)

      • I’ll look forward to it. :)

  4. Well, who doesn’t love a book with a sleeping giraffe?? Nobody. That’s who! It sounds adorable. Congratulations on doing Susanna’s class. I felt the same way after I did it. I learned SO much! AND the story I worked on in her class is about to be my first ebook on MeeGenius!

    • Oh Genevieve…that is fantastic! Please shout it out when it is ready…I’m into reviewing picture books…as you can totally see.:) Glad you liked this one!

      Yes, Susanna’s class was a revelation to me in how much stronger a story can be when you know what you are doing…and tweak it A LOT. :)

  5. Isn’t there something about the night that makes everything magical? Hoping I can find a copy of this.

  6. This sounds like a book kids would really love. Thanks for the review.

  7. What a nice surprise. I love the opening line in this story — it really makes you want to read more. And, a night safari is a different twist. Sounds like a lovely book.

    • I’m so happy that Epigram Books put out this new edition…the illustrations are so bold and vibrant….I’m glad you liked it, Pat.
      Back in Colorado Springs, the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo had special night-time (around Christmas and New Years) zoo experiences.

  8. Wow – what a different world a zoo would be at night. A unique perspective for a PB. And how awesome to know the author. I will look for this one.

    • David is a great guy…and I’m so excited…he has promised to send me a copy of Sam, Sebbie and Di-Di-Di…A Day with the Duchess (of Cambridge – she has his books for her little one)…as soon as it is out.
      Hope you pick up a copy…my grandson loved it!

  9. I would like to do a night safari! I Want to do Susanna’s course one day.

    • I would love to do any kind of safari…what a wonderful experience. I’ve been to a Butterfly Museum…that was unique…like being in a rainforest and hundreds of butterflies hover and land on you.
      Taking Susanna’s class is definitely a highlight of 2014 for me…I know it will be an amazing experience for you as well, Joanna.:)

  10. Hi Vivian, it’s always wonderful to get books from author’s in the mail. Hoot! And I’m so glad you took Susanna’s MPBM course. :-)

    • Yes, David is very generous! I”m honored that he has sent me a number of his books.
      Susanna’s MPBM class rocked! And I’m excited to be in the alumni FB group now (with awesome people like you, Tracy)…more good times and lots of help and support. :)

  11. Now you’ve got me psyched up for my Making PB Magic class, which starts Monday. I hear nothing but good things. I love the cover art on this book. I hope I can find it here in the U.S.

    • Making Picture Book Magic is…magical! You will love it, love it, love it Kirsten! It was everything I had hoped it would be and much much more.:)
      David’s book is available on Amazon…I gave the link. :) There is a lot that is different from what our agents/editors expect here in a picture book…but I have to tell you…Jeremy LOVED it! And was entranced with the illustrations and enjoyed the simple, sometimes rhyming text.

  12. Ms. Hill’s course is AWESOME, is it not? :D Great book! I love the cover! :)

  13. This looks like a fun book! In Glen Rose there is a real animal safari place called Fossil Rim. I’ve never been there because dogs aren’t allowed, but they have Night Safaris sometimes when the weather is nice. I’ve heard that ostriches and antelope have been known to sleep in the roads.

  14. That giraffe looks like a fun project! It would be great for a rainy day project, and add a few other savannah animals. :-)

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