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Russell the Sheep Hardcover – April 12, 2005

4.8 out of 5 stars 86 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

PreSchool-Grade 1–Russell can't sleep. While the other sheep are dozing off, he ponders the problem of insomnia. Is he too hot or too cold? Perhaps a better place would help. When nothing works, he tries counting things. He starts with his feet, and then moves on to the stars ("six hundred million billion and ten")–twice. Finally, the quintessential cliché comes to him, and he counts sheep. Russell nods off just as the new day dawns and the others awaken. Scotton makes a captivating debut with this comical tale. He illustrates it with a witty, engaging, and fluffy character bathed in calming blue hues. With his wide-eyed, startled expression; froggy sidekick; and animated, blue-and-white-striped nightcap, Russell will win the hearts of readers, who will want to look at the pictures over and over to catch all the clever detail.–Be Astengo, Alachua County Library, Gainesville, FL
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Booklist

Pres-Gr. 1. Russell is one wide-awake sheep. When the sky grows dark and the other sheep in Frogsbottom Field drift into slumbers, Russell's eyes ("BOING!") are wide open. It's not for lack of trying: he pulls a nightcap over his eyes, removes his wool, and uses a pillow. He tries different locations: a rusty car, a hollow tree, a high branch. And counting things: his legs, the stars, and finally (yawn) sheep. Even young children will relate to Russell's predicament in this simple, satisfying story told with economy and illustrated with wit. The artwork, in a cool palette of muted blues, greens, and grays, is subtle and pleasing. But the real fun here is in the details, from the fat sleeping sheep with their skinny legs pointing skyward to the small, expressive changes in Russell's round eyes. A droll bedtime read-aloud that will amuse those listening as well as those reading Carolyn Phelan
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 4 - 8 years
  • Grade Level: Preschool - 3
  • Lexile Measure: AD300L (What's this?)
  • Hardcover: 32 pages
  • Publisher: HarperCollins; First Edition edition (April 12, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0060598484
  • ISBN-13: 978-0060598488
  • Product Dimensions: 10 x 0.2 x 10 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (86 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #614,716 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By M. Allen Greenbaum HALL OF FAMEVINE VOICE on October 22, 2005
Format: Hardcover
Rob Scotton delivers the goods in this funny kids' book about a sheep that can't sleep. While the resolution is somewhat predictable (he counts sheep) and puzzling (why is it that when he remembers to count himself, he falls asleep?), the book is filled with clever humor and enough visual delights to entertain both children and adults. The book shows many sources of insomnia, and approaches them with a reassuring tone, as well as very witty illustrations.

Scotton gives his sheep distinctive, quirky characters, and human-like habits. At night, one brushes his or her teeth, and another holds a teddy bear, and many of them fall asleep upside down (wool side up?), all four legs sticking straight up, and with nothing but patchwork quilts to cover them. All except, big-eyed Russell (looking a bit like Gromit the dog, another British import). Oh, how he struggles to sleep-each new solution brings its own unexpected problem: Perhaps it's too light, he reasons, but when he pulls his hat over his eyes, "the really dark scared him." He takes off his wool (!) jammies, thinking that "perhaps I'm just too hot," but the next vignetted picture shows him shivering away. He uses his friend the frog as a pillow, "but the pillow hopped away...hopping mad!" Like a child who attributes the insomnia to something external rather than internal, Russell looks for a better bedroom, outside his home of Frogsbottom Field. He discovers an alliterative list of adjectival objections: The uncovered trunk (completely safe, by the way) is too "cramped," the inside of a tree (filled with bats) is "too creepy," and the branch of a tree is "too crowded" with owls. (He's also too heavy for the branch, but Scotton's aim is fun, not physics.

He thought hard about what to do next.
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Format: Hardcover
Great illustrations! All my children enjoy the book. It is fun for my 6 year old and short enough to keep the attention of my 3 year old. We read it just before bed and the storyline is perfect to help them get to sleep by counting sheep. The pictures are great and the story is overall just "cute" and fun to follow.
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Format: Hardcover
Russell is a sheep who just can't seem to fall asleep one night. He tries everything from counting the stars to locating the perfect sleeping spot. Nothing works for him. That is until he decides to count sheep! This works and Russell is finally asleep. By this time it's morning and all the other sheep are ready to start their day!

The cartoon like illustrations are full of detail. Lots for little eyes to llok at while the story is being read!

We would recommend this book to others. We feel that the book will entertain children in a wide variety of age groups. There is a little green frog that shows up though out the book. It's fun to discover what the will be up to next!
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Format: Hardcover
I just bought this book for my 4 year old son Tommy. I read Russell to him last night before he went to sleep and he asked me to read it again and again. The illustrations are very spectacular and the we loved Russell the Sheep. i bet Rob Scotton is going to be a very famous author one day. This book would make a great gift for little boys and girls!
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Format: Hardcover
This review first appeared in the "Ephrata (PA) Review":

This is the first time Scotton has put words to his illustrations to create a picture book. In his homeland of England, he is an illustrator of greeting cards, ceramics and other items. His illustrations of Russell are so fun and funny that he almost doesn't need words!

Russell's problem? He can't get to sleep. When people can't sleep, they count sheep. What do sheep do? Russell tries many strategies, including counting "six hundred million billion and ten" stars. Will he never fall asleep?

HarperCollins says two more books about Russell are already in the works. I predict young ones will be asking for Russell as they drop off to sleep at night.
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Format: Hardcover
A friend told me to buy Russell the Sheep. He said that the drawings were phenomenal. I bought the book and agreed with him. My daughter loves looking at the pictures and my husband and I find the book very funny. We hope that Russell is one day on television or a movie.
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Format: Paperback
RUSSELL THE SHEEP, an adorable book about an adorable sheep named Russell.

He lives in Frogsbottom Field. It's been a long and busy day in Frogsbottom Field. Grandma sheep's been knitting. The cuddly flock has lazed and grazed. Everyone's down for some oh-so-restful zzzz's .... except for Russell.

Russell cannot fall asleep.

Is it not dark enough, he wonders? Down goes his woolly hat over his wide open eyes but - oooooh!... the really dark really scares him! Is it too hot? Off comes his lovely woolly sheepskin (looking SO dapper in dotted undies) but - brrrrrr!... - the night is VERY drafty!

Perhaps a new place? Ugh! - the trunk of a car is too cramped! The hollow of a tree is too creepy. The bird-covered branch is way too crowded! What's a sheep to do?

There is always the tried and true like counting things. Counting his own four feet and the six hundred million billion and ten stars in the sky and each and every snoozing sheep in the field! Ah...

"Still awake," he sighs.

Goodness, is there anything left to count? There is. Something very important that Russell forgot. The whole book will make you chuckle (the illustrations alone make it worth the while) and you will at last...see Russell .....yawn.......get his share of ......zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz....

Good night, Russ. You'll be waking up to five bright and twinkly stars from me, your new best fan forever.....
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