Monday’s great read for kids – Tuesday edition

Does it count as a day of service if the service you are providing is to your own household? Probably not, huh? Anyway, with apologies to Dr. King the wife and I spent much of his holiday yesterday purging our home of detritus, followed by the purchase and subsequent return of a big-ass1 TV.  But that’s another post altogether. This is just to say that my kid’s book recommendation went un-posted for the day.

So please accept for your young’uns aural pleasure a day late but not exactly a dollar short, One More Sheep by Mij Kelly (author) and Russell Ayto (illustrator).

One More Sheep is a rhyming book that also teaches your spawn to count to ten. Or at least that’s what the media2 would have you believe.  In reality it’s an entertaining and well illustrated tale about a wolf in sheep’s clothing.

Two things stand out – rhymed verse that actually scans (unlike the perhaps more famous kid’s book that will remain unnamed3) and striking artwork. Oh, and pretty great use of the language – you gotta love any book with the following couplet:

Out on the moor the wind whistles and wuthered / while the sheep safe indoors huddled under the covers.

Kelly and Ayto set the verbal and visual tone from the beginning of the book and follow through with an entertaining tale about the boring nature of sheep:

You’re not all that interesting, you’re not all that odd / you’re a first class ticket to the land of Nod.

The widsom (or lack thereof) of being uncritical in letting in strange sheep:

Stop it right there Sam, you silly man / you’ve got the brains of a watering can!

and the palliative power of counting:

After all that fuss and fluster Sam couldn’t get to sleep / until he settled right down and counted his boring sheep.

And the artwork captures beautifully the barren nature of the wet windy moor alongside the charming domesticity of a man who lives with a bunch of sheep4. There is even a bit of self-referential play at work when the artist hangs a work by Mondrian5 in Sam’s home – an overt nod to the artist for whom the book’s landscape is an apparent homage.

This one’s another keeper. Teach your kids about counting sheep to go to sleep, not letting wolves into the house and even squeeze in some art appreciation. All in a days work.

1 Yes, I believe that’s the technical term
2 as always, I blame the media
3 though not unlinked
4 Ok, ok – no Scottish jokes in the comment section please

3 Responses to “Monday’s great read for kids – Tuesday edition”

  1. Walter Says:

    Whew! My ADHD scan of the post had we wondering how the heck the Mondrian fit in. I’m really digging this weekly edition– keep ‘em coming, please.

  2. Geoffrey Says:

    Was totally stuck until I read this, now back up and ruginnn.

  3. Says:

    Insights like this liven things up around here.

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