Tag Archives: sheep

Where is the Green Sheep? by Mem Fox and Judy Horacek

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IMG_1566Where is the Green Sheep? by Mem Fox and illustrated by Judy Horacek, hardback picture book, published by Penguin Books (Australia) in 2004.

There are blue sheep and star sheep, up sheep and car sheep, but where is the green sheep? Find out as you turn the pages, discovering many different sheep along the way.

A brilliant early childhood book, Where is the Green Sheep? is perfect for every child. We discovered it by chance at the library when my first child was a toddler. We borrowed it so often over the following months we finally went out and bought our own copy. It has been read many many times, to the point where the kids could repeat it verbatim without even opening the book. Despite this, I never tire of reading this book to my kids, it really brings them (and me) so much joy. Where is the Green Sheep? is a wonderful book to share with toddlers and preschoolers, and older children will also enjoy the lyrical text and cute pictures.

It is a fun rhyming search through the flock to find the elusive green sheep. The story and illustrations are simple, yet extremely engaging for young children. The text is large and easy to read. The language is suitable for children just learning to read as well. We like to read Where is the Green Sheep? aloud, building up the rhythm of the text, and the kids always join in for “But where is the green sheep?”. The sheep are very distinctive, and the kids enjoy discovering what type of sheep are on each page, as if they have never read it before.

No children’s library would be really complete without this magnificent picture book from one of Australia’s favourite authors, Mem Fox. Now don’t be a slow sheep, go out and find the green sheep! (from all good book sellers).

 

* Where is the Green Sheep? was the winner for the 2004 Children’s Book Council of Australia Book of the Year in the Early Childhood category.

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Cardboard Roll Sheep

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A loves sheep, and spends a lot of time playing with her sheep figurines. She also likes to draw and make sheep. This sheep was made with a cardboard roll and some cotton balls.

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Matchstick legs.

Matchstick legs.

We added legs to the cardboard roll first. I made some small holes and A poked a coloured matchstick into each one. Then she got to gluing on the wool, which was lots of cotton balls. She added so many cotton balls that the sheep became a little heavy for its legs! Next time I think we might need to use popsticks or something else a little sturdier for legs. Either that, or we make the sheep less woolly.

Adding wool.

Adding wool.

For the face, we used a piece of white felt. A decorated it with a mouth and nose and some googly eyes. She used a little bit of the cotton wool to make two droopy ears, and glued them to the top of the the head. Then she used some craft glue to stick the face to the body, and she had her sheep.

The sheep's head.

The sheep’s head.

A insisted it was just a baby lamb, but I think it looked more like a sheep that hadn’t been shorn for about three years!

A very woolly sheep.

A very woolly sheep.

King Pig by Nick Bland

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IMG_0509King Pig by Nick Bland, hardback picture book, published by Scholastic Australia in 2013.

King Pig has a kingdom full of sheep that don’t seem to like him, and he doesn’t understand why. He desperately wants them to adore him, but nothing seems to work, and this is the one thing that he can’t command them to do. One night he has an idea, and he wakes up all the sheep to make him some new fancy clothes, but it doesn’t impress the sheep. What can he do to remedy the situation?

In this book we see that being powerful doesn’t automatically make one likable. It is much better to be nice and considerate of others, and being bossy all the time only leads to resentment and discontent. This is a hard lesson for King Pig to learn, and a good message for our children. My kids enjoyed this book, but not quite as much as the other Nick Bland books we have. It wasn’t as funny, though we still liked the story and the illustrations are lovely. I liked the way that the sheep had their wool dyed and removed, while my kids liked it when King Pig used one of the sheep strapped to a wooden handle to clean his castle. This is a good book for preschoolers and kids in lower primary school.

 

* King Pig was an honours book for the 2014 Children’s Book Council of Australia Book of the Year in the Picture Book category.

 

Pete the Sheep by Jackie French and Bruce Whatley

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IMG_0443Pete the Sheep by Jackie French and illustrated by Bruce Whatley, paperback picture book, published by HarperCollinsPublishers in 2004.

Shaun is a shearer, and Pete is his pet sheep. Pete helps Shaun in the shearing shed. The other shearers have sheepdogs to help them, but when Shaun and Pete come along, suddenly all the sheep want to see Shaun. The shearers kick Shaun and Pete out of the shearing shed. Shaun doesn’t know what to do then, as shearing is his life, but Pete has an idea to start a Sheep Salon for funky sheep-cuts.

This is a very Australian book, and we love it. The illustrations are amusing, and we love the special hair cuts the sheep get. The story is fun and different with simple language. Until I’d read this book I’d never thought about sheep (or other animals) getting such unique hair cuts. And it has a happy and inclusive ending, where everything works out just right, which is important to my kids, they like their books to end well.  My preschooler particularly likes that when Pete says “Baaaaa!” he’s actually talking to the other sheep, but Shaun can understand him too. Suitable for young children such as preschoolers and lower primary school children, we like to read this book together.

Sheep on a Beach by P. Crumble and Danielle McDonald

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IMG_0167Sheep on a Beach by P. Crumble and Danielle McDonald, paperback picture book, published by Scholastic Australia in 2012.

This is a story about Sheep and what he gets up to on his visit to the beach. For each thing that Sheep does, there is a little crab there helping him out. My pre-schooler was very interested to see what the crab was doing in each drawing, from building a sand castle to stealing a dropped chip.

The story is cumulative, so that the story to that point is repeated and one new sentence added on each double page. It reads a bit like a list, and is a great use of repetition, which kids will love, but which may irritate some adults. Each new line was presented in a different coloured text than the previous parts of the story. I liked this, as it was easy for my pre-schooler to find the new information on the page. The illustrations are funny and colourful with the text overlaid on part of each picture (usually the sand, sky or sea for clarity).

This was an enjoyable read with my pre-schooler, she loved the pictures and the repetition. I also liked the illustrations and I liked what Sheep did at the beach, it was very Australian. A fun book for bed time (or any time!)

Sheep Cupcakes

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IMG_8959A while ago I saw some of the librarians at our local library had made foods inspired by books, and they had made sheep cupcakes for Where is the Green Sheep? by Mem Fox and Judy Horacek. We own this book, and it gets read over and over to the point where both L and A are able to recite the words! I love the idea of book inspired food, and these sheep cupcakes looked simple enough, so I gave them a go.

Cupcakes ready for icing.

Cupcakes ready for icing.

Big L made a double batch of butter cupcakes, and when they were cool, I iced them with basic vanilla frosting. Then I covered each one with mini-marshmallows (I think the pack called them mallow bakes). I had these in pink and white, so we had some pink sheep and some white sheep.

Covered in mini marshmallows.

Covered in mini marshmallows.

For the heads I used some honeycomb chocolate pods, which are like a small biscuit cup filled with chocolate and come in a number of different flavours (I think they are made by Mars). The filling side of the pods was facing out, and I drew on this using white chocolate writing fudge to form the facial features and ears of each sheep.

It didn’t take me as long as I expected to make these sheep cupcakes, and I was quite happy with the result. Everyone thought they were very yummy too.

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