From School Library Journal
PreSchool-Grade 2–True to its title, this quiet, wordless story will keep readers wondering just what the protagonist, a sheep, is up to. After taking some measurements, she realizes that she has enough wool on her body to suit her purposes. She dyes the wool red, shears it off, and, donning a sweater to warm herself, takes the wool to a poodle to be spun into yarn. The sheep then works late into the night, knitting and sewing. Obviously she is preparing something special–but what is it? The final page turn brings a satisfying resolution to the mystery. Even the very young will be able to follow the story by reading the uncluttered, outlined illustrations. The vignettes of the sheep dying, washing, and blow-drying the wool while it is still on her body and then shaving it off are priceless. Her trips via motorcycle, pocketbook slung across her shoulder, bag of wool strapped on the back, and the scenes depicting her struggle to keep her eyes open as she plies her knitting needles reveal her dogged dedication to her task. A fine addition for wordless-book collections.–Marianne Saccardi, formerly at Norwalk Community College, CT
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In this square, wordless picture book, van Ommen portrays a sequence of initially mysterious actions that conclude with a sweet, satisfying message about generosity. The opening image shows Sheep standing on a scale, appraising herself in a mirror. Is she on a diet? Perhaps, but her next move is puzzling: she applies red dye to her billowy wool, then shears it entirely off! Comprehension will dawn upon children as the ewe delivers the wool to a worker at a spinning wheel, then knits the resulting yarn into a garment for a grateful friend. Van Ommen's charming compositions in thickly applied gouache clearly chronicle the sequence of events, although the cigarette dangling from one character's mouth, an element that suggests the book's European origins (it's an import from the Netherlands), may strike U.S. readers oddly. Most children, however, will be too absorbed in the wool's transformation to notice such a minor detail. A crisp story-in-pictures for prereaders, or for use with older children in writing exercises, this is especially suited as a way to practice process vocabulary words (first, next, then, finally, and so on). Mattson, Jennifer Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved