Feeding the Sheep by Leda Schubert, illustrated by Andrea U’Ren
Follow the process from sheep to sweater through the eyes of a young girl. The book starts with feeding the sheep corn and hay on a wintry day. Then it moves on to shearing, washing the wool, drying the wool, carding it, spinning the yarn, dyeing the yarn, and then knitting it. Each step is done by the little girl’s mother to the refrain of “What are you doing?” The book uses gentle rhymes and repetition to show the steps as well as detailed illustrations where the young girl gets involved too.
This book is ideal for toddlers and preschoolers who will enjoy realizing where their sweaters come from. The style of writing is approachable and gentle. Nicely the book comes full circle back to the feeding of sheep, making the point that the cycle of sheep to sweater continues. U’Ren’s illustrations are filled with homey touches and small details, yet they will work well with a group. A wonderful touch is the changing of the seasons throughout the book, often glimpsed only out of the window. This again underlines the cyclical nature of farming.
Short sentences with plenty of rhythm and repetition, make this a friendly choice. It is also a joy to read aloud. Appropriate for ages 2-4.
Reviewed from library copy.