I thought both the writing and illustrations were good, but something about the story didn't really resonate for me. The author/adult characters seemed overly harsh about Sam's "reckless habit of lying." Pretending your doormat is a chariot pulled by dragons is not lying, it is pretending. Lying is conveying untruths to people, and no one in their right mind would believe the stuff Sam says. I know, I know, we are told Thomas believes it, but I didn't buy that. Even if he were young and naive enough to think she really had a baby kangaroo, he should have wised up after weeks of being sent on wild goose chases to find the kangaroo. And if he's so young or dumb he hasn't, he shouldn't be let to wander around all day unsupervised.
Sam doesn't seem to have any friends beside her cat. Her mother is dead. Obviously she is having trouble coping, and I would have liked to see her father at least show some concern for her and try to really talk to her instead of just telling her to "talk real and not moonshine." I felt badly for Sam, lonely and with everyone telling her to give up her imagination.