Miss Sally Ann and The Panther – CYBILS Review

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Onto another great CYBILS fiction picture book nomination!


Retold by Bobbi Miller, illustrated by Megan Lloyd

Published by Holiday House, 2012,

Ages: 4+

Themes: Panther, Sally Ann Thunder An Whirlwind, tall tales, legends

First lines:

Miss Sally Ann Thunder Ann Whirlwind was a woman of wonder. All in a day’s work she roped a hurricane, tied it to her spinning wheel, and outspun the steam mill.”


Starring Davy Crocket’s sweetheart, the author,  Bobbi Miller, retells a mighty tall tale about Miss Sally Ann Thunder Ann Whirlwind (don’t you love the repetition of the name Ann?) and the legendary panther, Fireeyes. Sally Ann’s multitasking, creative strength was renowned. This lady could outdo a steam mill on her spinning wheel by harnessing a hurricane by her own strength. So, you can imagine when she heads into the forest on a culinary mission dressed in her best bear fur and meets the swaggering, claw-scratching giant feline, flight is far from her thoughts!

They eye each other up and come to a simultaneous conclusion that their adversary possesses a seriously sleek coat they would like to own. A rip-roaring duel ensues with larger than life illustrations, and let me just say that no blood is shed and a epically unlikely friendship is the outcome.

Why I like this book: Because of the bodacious language! This is masterful storytelling; The lyricism, rhythm and creative use of words is as tall and broad as this tale. The invented adverbs and adjectives and gritty expressions make me want to roll them around in my mouth and spit ’em as far as I can for greater effect! Kids will rise to this stupenderrific vocabulary! Hyperbole and simile at its best!

This panther is hugeceously smart and mean as tarnation.

Fireeyes let loose a roar so thunderific, skunks lost their stripes.

He lifted his haunches in a great swaggeorus stretch

The illustrations are as hyperbolic as the text and the vibrant applique art does justice to this legend, Miller’s tremendous text and the colonial era, with every other page framed in a log frame! This is a well-paced, great read-aloud with super visuals to captivate the kids.

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8 Responses to Miss Sally Ann and The Panther – CYBILS Review

  1. I love tall tales and this one sounds like tons of fun! Great cover illustration, and love the use of language! So creative 🙂

  2. Love her name! Why was I not aware that Davy Crockett had such a marvelous sweetheart until now? I know I would love this book. (And since my brain doesn’t know any songs about Sally Ann Thunder Ann, I will be singing about Pecos Bill for the foreseeable future!)

  3. Love that cover! But, I think I enjoyed reading your enthusiasm for the book the most. Excellent review. Sounds like a terrific and funny book for children! Didn’t know Davey Crockett had a sweetheart.

  4. I really need to check out this book! The story sounds great!

  5. Hannah Holt says:

    I love anything with a theme of “panther.” 🙂 Great review.

  6. Wow, this sounds truly creative. Thanks Joanna!

  7. From your sampling…I love it. Pinned it to my Pinterest board for books I’m hankerin’ to read! Hope the library has it!!! My PB budget is suffering 🙂

  8. Bobbi Miller says:

    Thank you so very much for the kind review, Joanna. (And I so love all of your reviews/blog. I feel very honored to mentioned!)

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