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Can't Sleep Without Sheep [Hardcover]

Susanna Leonard Hill , Mike Wohnoutka
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (24 customer reviews)

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Book Description

September 14, 2010 3 - 6 yearsPreschool - 1
Whenever Ava can't sleep, she counts sheep. But Ava takes so long to fall asleep, it's the sheep that are growing tired—until finally, they quit! When the sheep promise to find a replacement that Ava can count on, chaos ensues as chickens, cows, pigs, hippos, and more try their hand at jumping over Ava's fence. Finding the perfectly peaceful replacement for sheep might not be so easy after all.

With irresistibly adorable art, this delightful take on a familiar sleep tactic is sure to become a bedtime favorite.

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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

PreS-Gr 1–Like many children, Ava counts sheep when she can't fall asleep. But the youngster has a great number of thoughts in her mind and her sheep are exhausted, so they set out to find suitable replacements. However, the other animals just aren't as well equipped for inducing sleep. The horses are too beautiful, while the chickens are ridiculous and the pigs are rather slow and lazy. The other applicants, including penguins, flamingos, armadillos, and buffalo, don't fare too well either. The sheep conclude that they are the best ones for the job and tell Ava, "Don't worry. You can count on us!" The charming, rounded illustrations are set against the backdrop of a starry night with the characters bathed in the moonlight. On many spreads, the animals take up the entire space, creating a cinematic vista. Hill's words are simple and effective, and leave room for the art to tell the story. The endpapers feature a series of repeated, lovely and puffy cloudlike sheep in mid-leap. A book that is delightful for the eyes and soothing to the ears, Can't Sleep Without Sheep will quickly become a bedtime favorite and a can't-sleep-without book.Kim T. Ha, Elkridge Branch Library, MD
© Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

About the Author

SUSANNA LEONARD HILL is the author of Punxsutawney Phyllis and No Sword Fighting in the House (Junior Library Guild selection). She worked for many years teaching dyslexic students and now spends her time writing and presenting at schools. She lives in New York.

MIKE WOHNOUTKA is the acclaimed illustrator of more than 20 children's books. His books include Moo!, which was an ALA Notable Book and Little Puppy and the Big Green Monster, which is his first book as both author and illustratorMike's other titles have won numerous awards, including the National Jewish Book Award, Society of Illustrators Original Art Show, and the Beverly Cleary Children's Choice Award. A graduate of the Savannah College of Art and Design, Mike lives with his wife and two children in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Visit Mike on his website:

Product Details

  • Age Range: 3 - 6 years
  • Grade Level: Preschool - 1
  • Hardcover: 40 pages
  • Publisher: Walker Childrens; First Edition edition (September 14, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0802720668
  • ISBN-13: 978-0802720665
  • Product Dimensions: 10 x 0.4 x 10.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (24 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #625,248 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A new bedtime favorite September 17, 2010
This is fabulous bedtime story - it has become a new favorite in our household. The story and illustrations are wonderful - recommend to children of all ages!
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
Every so often I am sent a book, buy a new book, or spot a new book at the library that after I read the first page or two, am absolutely, positively for sure is going to be a winner. This small group of books, when I do run across them, is like finding a valuable treasure or surprise presents that come out of nowhere. This latest offering by Susanna Leonard Hill most certainly falls into that category! I have to tell you that I was absolutely delighted with this book from cover to cover.

A little girl by the name of Ava once had a hard time falling to sleep because her mind was oh so very busy; typical of every little kid you know. Her mother tries to help her and suggests she try counting sheep to help her sleep. This the little girl did. She counted and counted and then counted some more, but as the book informs us:

"But her mind was full of ideas and questions, thoughts of today, and plans for tomorrow." This was effective and went on night after night. Finally the sheep asked the little girl if they can please stop as they were completely exhausted. Ave tells the no! So, as sheep will often do, they said "In that case, we quit."

What is Eva to do? Well, with the help of the sheep they search for replacements; horses, chickens, cow and pigs; moose and monkeys, armadillos with hippos. Each animal of course had some major drawbacks and are quite unsuitable as sleep aids. When they got to the buffalo that charged the fence, and pretty well wrecked everything, Eva decided it was time to do some negotiations with the sheep. Will they resolve the problem, and if so, how?
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
Ava tossed and turned in her bed, but try as she might she couldn't get to sleep. She held her dog stuffie over her head, leaned over the side of her bed to play with her soccer ball, and stretched her legs up against the headboard of her bed. No sleep. Her mother came in and suggested she count sheep. "One sheep jumping over the fence . . . two sheep jumping over the fence . . . three sheep jumping over the fence . . . " No sleep. Ava's head was filled with so many things she just couldn't get to sleep, even with those fluffy sheep sailing right over that picket fence. Sheep being sheep, they finally got tired of jumping over the fence for a little girl who couldn't go to sleep.

Absolutely no more jumping because they were exhausted. Ava pleaded with them to continue so she could get some sleep, but the sheep promised they'd "find a replacement." A horse leaped over the fence and he was so much fun Ava just smiled with delight. No sleep. The daffy dumb cluck chickens just made her laugh. No sleep. The fluffy sheep just wiped his brow. This was going to be a tough one. The pigs were too slow and the cows "were a complete disaster." No fence. No sleep. A giraffe, an elephant, a crocodile, a moose, some flamingos, a waddle of penguins and other animals began to line up in front of the fence. Would any of these critters be able to get Ava to sleep?

This heavenly, hilarious little tale of the sheep and a herd of other animals that couldn't get Ava to sleep will delight your little one. Try as they might those poor, exhausted sheep couldn't get Ava to fall asleep. Unless you have a rare child, I'm sure you've experienced the exhaustion the sheep felt when they tried everything to get her to fall asleep.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Totally Fun September 17, 2010
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Cute story matched by wonderful illustrations. My four and six year old both love it and have asked for it every night since we got it!!!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Enchanting! September 17, 2010
A delightful read aloud for children of all ages...Ava's story is hilarious, and Ms. Hill never condescends to her young readers. A perfect match with the art..oh, those pigs! Children will love these animals and this enchanting will day-weary parents who need a good laugh.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Great Pick! December 1, 2010
By Mrs.CH3
What a fantastically cute book. The first thing that stood out to me were the great illustrations- as Ava tries to find suitable replacements to her sheep to help her sleep, we are introduced to amazingly drawn pigs, horses and other animals who all line up for a shot at being the ones to help get her to bed. It's funny to read/see/learn why each animal that tries out won't be making the cut to be her go-to animals to count at bedtime. At the end, the sheep realize that they are, indeed, the ones who should be helping Ava get to sleep because the other animals just won't do.

Such a great book, in my opinion, and perfect for the child (or grown-up) with a big imagination- the illustrations only add to the content of the book and really help to bring it to life! If you are looking for a new bedtime story, I think this is a great choice and would recommend it whole-heartedly.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Our New Favorite Bed Time Story October 10, 2010
My kids really enjoyed reading about Ava and her sheep. Ava usually needs to count sheep before she sleeps, but when the sheep decide to quit they look for their replacements. Among the animals who try out for the job are a horse, pigs, penguins, buffalo, hippos, and many other animals. Will the sheep realize they're the perfect fit for the job and stay, or will Ava be counting a different animal to sleep each night?

This is such a delightful bedtime read. The story is fun and engaging, and received a lot of laughs from my kids and the illustrations are great! Can't Sleep Without Sheep gets high marks in our household.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Just what sweet dreams are made of!
Full of too many thoughts, Ava cannot get to sleep. The overworked and exhausted sheep ask to be replaced. Read more
Published 2 months ago by CLMurphy
5.0 out of 5 stars awesome illustrations, excited to see the Kindle edition
Hilarious concept, awesome illustrations, excited to see the Kindle edition!
Published 2 months ago by Barbara G. S. Warden
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Very cute book.
Published 5 months ago by kmiller
5.0 out of 5 stars 5 star toddler approved
Well, here is another book that 2.5 year old loved from the first read. In my opinion, the sign of a truly fabulous aged appropriate read, is if they are captivated from the... Read more
Published 11 months ago by Jujuberry37
4.0 out of 5 stars Really excited to give this as a gift
Purchased this as a gift for my niece. She's too young for it now, but it'll be perfect when she's a bit older. Read more
Published 13 months ago by Erica M
5.0 out of 5 stars Lovely book
I have purchased this book a few times now. It's a great story with beautiful illustrations. It's a great gift and I usually get it for two year olds. Read more
Published 15 months ago by MoupieJC
5.0 out of 5 stars Whimsical story of importance of sheep to count at bedtime
Delightful picture book with appealing story of little girl attempting to count sheep to go to sleep only to discover that the sheep are tired of jumping. Read more
Published 19 months ago by Edwin D. Leonard
5.0 out of 5 stars Kindle edition great
My son and I have read the print version and were looking forward to the kindle version. Excited to say the formatting is perfect, which makes it a great read on the kindle. Read more
Published 19 months ago by Stacy
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderfully creative bedtime story!
I fell in love instantly with this adorable book! The story and the illustrations are absolutely wonderful. Read more
Published on June 7, 2012 by A. Burns
5.0 out of 5 stars great book
Our family loves this book. The illustrations are wonderful and the story is very very cute. I have bought this book a few times to give as gifts at a baby shower. Read more
Published on March 9, 2012 by suzanne
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