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Feeding the Sheep Hardcover – March 2, 2010


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Feeding the Sheep + Weaving the Rainbow + Charlie Needs a Cloak
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 3 - 6 years
  • Grade Level: Preschool - 1
  • Hardcover: 32 pages
  • Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR); First Edition edition (March 2, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0374322961
  • ISBN-13: 978-0374322960
  • Product Dimensions: 9.3 x 0.4 x 9.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #563,129 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

PreSchool-K—There are a number of children's books that trace the steps from sheep to wool to clothing, including Tomie dePaola's Charlie Needs a Cloak (S & S, 1982); Cynthia Millen's A Symphony for the Sheep (Houghton, 1996); and, most amusingly, Leslie Helakoski's Woolbur (HarperCollins, 2008) and Teri Sloat's Farmer Brown Shears His Sheep (DK, 2000). This book doesn't cover any new ground, but its approach is unique, showing the loving relationship between a mother and her daughter through the seasons as the animals are fed and sheared; the wool is cleaned, carded, spun, and dyed; and a sweater is knitted. Schubert's musical text has a predictable, soothing structure: "'What are you doing?' the little girl asked. 'Feeding the sheep,' her mother said. Snowy day, corn and hay. 'What are you doing?' the little girl asked. 'Shearing the wool,' her mother said. Soft and deep, sheepy heap." Particularly rewarding is the way the characters come full circle, exchanging roles by the book's end. U'Ren's gently outlined watercolor illustrations contribute a vivid look at farm life, at the expansive pastureland, and at the roomy farmhouse. The sheep are both realistic and winsome. The daughter's play beguilingly echoes her mother's work; for instance, when her mother is dying the wool, the little girl is painting on paper, and they both hold up their blue-stained hands. Children will want to examine the pictures for funny little details, such as a painting of a sheep jumping over the moon. Feeding the Sheep will teach and entertain the very young, and they'll be examining their sweaters with greater appreciation.—Susan Weitz, formerly at Spencer-Van Etten School District, Spencer, NY
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From Booklist

Narrated in a chatty, question-and-answer rhyming text, this warm story describes work throughout the seasons on a farm. A little girl repeatedly asks her mother, “What are you doing?” and Mom’s step-by-step answers describe how she feeds the sheep; shears, washes, dries, and cards the wool; spins and dyes the yarn; and, finally, knits a sweater (“Knit and purl, needles whirl”). A closing scene, “Sweater hug, woolly hug,” shows perfect bliss between mother and daughter, and in a final reversal, the mother asks the questions, while the little girl dives into work. The physicality of the words (“Soft and deep, sheepy heap”), the fascinating facts, and the action-filled, brightly colored illustrations will capture kids’ attention, as will the cozy family bond between parent and child, working together and caring for their free-range animals. Preschool-Kindergarten. --Hazel Rochman

More About the Author

I write books for children, read books for all ages, and teach at Vermont College of Fine Arts' MFA in Writing for Children and Young Adults program. I live in North Central Vermont with my husband and two large dogs: Pogo (very good boy) and Pippa (slightly insane). Reading, dogs, and traditional music are my passions. I do not like to cook.

You can find out more about me and see assorted photographs and lots of book information on my website. www.ledaschubert.com

I also blog there on occasion. www.ledaschubert.com/blog.htm

Come visit!

Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
The snow was falling heavily as a little girl played in the snow making snowballs and watching her mother work. The sheep clustered around her mother waiting to be fed corn and hay. The barn roof was laden with heavy snow with icicles forming at its edges. It would be a while before it would be spring, a time when the sheep would be sheared. When it arrived the little girl could be found playing beneath a freshly shorn fleece. "What are you doing?" she asked her mother. Her mother had spread clean rugs for the sheep to stand on while she sheared them in the holding pen. "Shearing the wool . . . soft and deep, sheepy heap."

"What are you doing?" The work and questions would continue. The wool needed to be washed, dried, carded, and spun. The little girl somersaulted as she watched the dog chase his tail and her mother turn the wheel of her spinning wheel. Whir, whir, whir! There would be much time to play because "Fluffy pile, takes a while," but after a while she would fall fast asleep curled up in a chair. The yarn would have to be dyed into the "deepest blue" and when the autumn leaves begin to leave the trees her mother would begin to knit. "What are you doing?"

This beautiful, lyrical story tells the story of farm life and lets us "follow the journey from sheep to sweater." I loved the totally innocent and realistic quality of this tale. We learn about the "journey" when the little girl continually asked questions. For example, as we learn about the process, we learn that the wool needs to be washed ("Soap and steam, fleecy clean"). You can see the dish soap on the counter, something a traditional hand-spinner would use. The reader will love the homey feel of this book and the journey can be an enjoyable learning experience or simply a fun one to read. The delightful art work caught every little nuance of the process and meshed perfectly with the story. This is a little country experience you're going to love!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Linda L. Lamme on April 14, 2010
Format: Hardcover
Feeding the Sheep is about as close to a perfect book as you can get. The story is heartwarming - a conversation between a little girl and her mother on a snowy day in a rural area, probably in Vermont, which is where the author, Leda Schubert, lives. The child keeps asking the same question, "What are you doing?" Her mother answers simply, "feeding the sheep," or "shearing the wool." The author then adds a short rhyming couplet, a lyrical finale to the simple event. Each page provides another step in the process of raising sheep and eventually knitting a wool sweater to keep the child warm. The pets, a dog and a cat, appear in each picture. Happiness exudes from the Mom and her child. In the end, the mother asks the child what she is doing. She is following in her mother's footsteps by feeding the sheep. I can't remember the last time I read such a simple, uplifting book with perfect illustrations that look like woodcuts, but are probably watercolor paint with outlining, by Andrea U'Ren.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Tanya on April 2, 2010
Format: Hardcover
I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book with my daughter. It tells the story of the process from raising sheep to knitting a sweater from the wool in simple, poetic language that sounds so nice when you read it out loud. The artwork is beautiful with amazing details so that with many reads there are still details to find. My 19 month old daughter loved the repeating characters on each page. A lovely book for mothers and daughters, spinners, knitters, animal lovers and anyone who enjoys reading aloud to children.
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