Sierra had a special division just to think up ways for you to die in their games.
I have no idea why they made it so easy to "die" in their games. It was ridiculous.
Definately look at LucasArts games for beginning point-and-click games. Much more forgiving (and they occasionally make fun of Sierra). They do have the occasional tough part (getting grog to the jail, always (not) fun), but they have always ranked up in the "must play" category for me.