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Feeding the Sheep by Leda Schubert

Feeding the Sheep

by Leda Schubert

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This was a nice read so O could see how the wool on sheep gets turned into clothes or the wool that I use for felting. It's always nice to find a book that extends the learning from something she already knows a little bit about. ( )
  maddiemoof | Oct 20, 2015 |
In simple, rhythmic prose, a little girl learns from her mother the cycle from sheep to wool to sweater. Each picture shows a different part of the process, starting with feeding the sheep and ending with knitting a sweater, including sheering, carding, dyeing, and more along the way.

This is an educational story to read to young children who will be fascinated to see the process that leads up to the finished process. It's also a sweet and warm story showing a mother's love for her daughter and the passing of the seasons on a farm. The simple rhymed refrain at the end of each section of text is perfect for making this a gentle bedtime story.

U'Ren's art is simple and clear enough so that children can understand the various processes, but also includes fun pictures of the little girl playing with the wool and her dog and snuggling up to her mother.

Verdict: Recommended. I haven't seen any other sheep stories, especially not any that manage to be both informative and entertaining
  JeanLittleLibrary | Jan 22, 2011 |
Richie's Picks: FEEDING THE SHEEP by Leda Schubert and Andrea U'Ren, Farrar Straus and Giroux, March 2010, 28p., ISBN: 978-0-374-32296-0

"Want to knit you a sweater, want to write you a love letter"
-- Joni Mitchell

I've been sitting here trying to think of something nice to say about sheep. In comparison to my decades of raising Nubian goats, my brief encounters with sheep have been far less gratifying. But I deeply treasure my collection of wool sweaters, and cherish the memories of several that are now gone that had been especially knitted for me many years ago by one of my oldest and dearest friends.

It is that friend who also exposed me to carding and spinning wheels and drop spindles. I even once tried to shear a sheep for her. (The emphasis is on the word "tried.")

I certainly have an appreciation for all that goes into creating a sweater.

"One for Paul, one for Silas,
One for to make my heart rejoice.
Can't you hear my lambs a' callin',
Oh, good shepherd, feed my sheep."
-- Traditional hymn arranged by Jorma Kaukonen

And so I experience a somewhat bizarre sense of nostalgia and amusement in reading the lovely picture book FEEDING THE SHEEP.

"'What are you doing?' the little girl asked." So begins the text on nine of the story's scenes.

On a family farm, and over the course of a year, a mom cares for a small flock of sheep; goes through all of the processes necessary for creating a sweater; and answers the little girl's questions about what Mom is doing. The little girl has her own good measure of fun as she (literally) immerses herself in a pile of fleece, and in other sorts of parallel play: Mom cards the wool and the little girl cards the family dog; Mom spins the wheel, the little girl somersaults (and the dog chases his tail); Mom is elbow deep in dye and the little girl is elbow-deep in water-coloring. By the end of the story, the little girl is taking initiative, happily participating in feeding the sheep.

There are three things that I particularly love about the visual details of FEEDING THE SHEEP.

One: The family dog is very dog-like in his mischievousness and attentiveness.

Two: The sheep are SO, SO sheep-like. They alternately have expressions of dread; stubbornness; cluelessness; or are looking right out of the page at you, like you are an intruder. Ah, I remember those expressions so well.

Three: The real payoff of the story is on the back cover. It is merely cute if you haven't read the book, but after you do, and you see the development of the little girl, that back cover is the punchline that motivated me to actually write fondly (most likely for the first and last time) about something having to do with sheep.

Richie Partington, MLIS
Richie's Picks http://richiespicks.com
Moderator http://groups.yahoo.com/middle_school_lit/
Moderator http://groups.yahoo.com/group/EcolIt/

FTC NOTICE: Richie receives free books from lots of publishers who hope he will Pick their books. You can figure that any review was written after reading and dog-earring a free copy received. Richie retains these review copies for his rereading pleasure and for use in his booktalks at schools and libraries. ( )
  richiespicks | Jun 23, 2010 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0374322961, Hardcover)

Day to day, season to season, Mom tends the family's small flock of sheep, and then shears and washes, cards and dyes, spins and knits. Every step of the way, her little girl watches and asks, "What are you doing?" As playful as it is informative, this rambunctiousread-aloud features a mother and daughter making a game of their warm and wooly enterprise.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:17:57 -0400)

In pictures and rhythmic text, a mother relates to her daughter all the steps involved in making her a snug, wooly sweater, starting at the very beginning with feeding the sheep.

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