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The Little Lamb by Judy Dunn
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The Little Lamb (1977)

by Judy Dunn, Phoebe Dunn (Photographer)

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There are the classics that you know why they're classics, be it clever marketing, perfect grasp of the audience, sheer literary and artistic merit, etc. Then there are the books you remember from your childhood; they may be utterly weird and completely outdated, but they are a part of you. Then there are the books that fall somewhere in between. The ones that you loved as a child, that have some outdated aspects to them, but somehow hang on, year after year after year.

Phoebe and Judy Dunn's photographed stories of farm animals fall into this last category. When I first realized they were still in print, I was thrilled and decided to treat myself (and my library) to a collection. To my delighted surprise, it became one of our most popular titles.

My personal copies from my childhood have long disappeared, but I found the originals were easy to replace and just as lovable as ever. In The Little Rabbit, Sarah finds a white baby bunny in her Easter basket. Sarah is an adorable girl with freckles and a gap-toothed grin, just as sweet as her fluffy new pet, Buttercup. The simple story talks about Buttercup growing up and their little adventures, including information on pet care in a natural and interesting way. Buttercup meets Sarah's friends, gets lost, and goes on picnics. Eventually, she gets big enough to have babies of her own (no male bunny is pictured or mentioned though) and she has seven babies who get into lots of trouble! Finally, it's just Sarah and Buttercup again, the way they like it.

The Little Lamb features Emmy, a pig-tailed little girl in sturdy jeans and sweater, who adopts an orphaned lamb, Timothy. He grows fast as she cares for him and introduces him to other animals and places on the farm. But eventually Timothy gets too big - and causes too much trouble - and goes back to the farm, where he happily joins in with the other half-grown lambs.

The Little Duck, Henry, is found by an unnamed boy as an egg by the pond. This book follows most closely the duck's life cycle from hatching to changing from a fluffy chick to a beautiful white duck. Eventually, he wants more than his little blue pool and finds his way back to the pond and a beautiful girl duck.

Verdict: There are plenty of farm animal books out there, but these photographs just seem to really strike a chord with parents and children alike. I recommend taking a look to see what's currently in print and trying out a few, be they paperback, prebound, or board books.

These are reprinted so constantly that I'm not going to list a specific ISBN. Most of them are still in print, either in paperback or prebound, or are soon to be republished as board books. They're the books that just keep going! Just search for Judy and Phoebe Dunn. The copies pictured are the latest paperback versions in print, but I personally own older paperbacks.
  JeanLittleLibrary | Nov 23, 2014 |
A cute story about a girl and her lamb that could reconcile kids to the fact that farm pets eventually gotta go back to the farm. I liked that it used photographs--drawings are fine but also sort of the generic default, and the photos made shit real. ( )
  MeditationesMartini | Dec 22, 2010 |
This book would be good for1st-3rd grades. It would be a good idea to read this book before visiting a petting zoo. The students could make up a story about a pet they have or any animal.
  jhsmith | Sep 29, 2008 |
My children loved the pictureback series (The little puppy, little lamb, little goat).
  mebrock | Mar 29, 2008 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Judy Dunnprimary authorall editionscalculated
Dunn, PhoebePhotographermain authorall editionsconfirmed
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0394834550, Paperback)

Full-color photographs. "Delectable photographs illuminate this appealing story of a little girl and a lamb."--Child Study Assn.  

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:23:59 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

A little girl takes care of a little lamb until it is big enough to return to the flock.

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