Over in the Facebook alternate universe, I was saying how much I love sheep. I grew up on a farm with sheep, and although I don’t like sheep bucks because one nearly killed my father, I do love the ewes and their lambs. We raised suffolks:
So is it any wonder that I’m drawn to:
Seems that Arnold, the sheep, a Heidschnucke sheep to be exact, is tired of always being part of the bucolic background of all those fairy tales. And once the author allows Arnold in, he begins to change the story to suit is fears and friends. Things quickly begin to unravel like a—skein of wool….
And when things start to get really scary, Arnold recasts the wolf as his friend, a muskrat named Einer.
Word alert for all you picture book writers! There are 740 words in this book, so the saying “The right number of words is the number it takes to tell the story well,” applies here. And since the story unfolds in the form of movie dialogue, the pacing moves briskly, with a funny hiccup at every page turn as Arnold reshapes the traditional story.
With puns a plenty, it would be quite funny to stage this for readers theater in a 2nd or 3rd grade class.
TITLE: Little Red Riding Sheep
Author: Linda Ravin Lodding
Illustrator: Cale Atkinson
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Atheneum Books for Young Readers, 2017
Age Group: K-3
You can find many more picture book recommendations at Susanna Hill’s Perfect Picture Book Friday.
6 thoughts on “Little Red Riding Sheep – Perfect Picture Book Friday”
Looks like a great story. As for your father’s experience with a sheep buck–sounds very scary. Yikes. 😧
Yes, the sheep buck is a fearsome creature. Their heads are hard as stone—and as thick. And some can be quite ornery, meaning you don’t want to share any space with them or drop your guard. Ewes, OTOH, are usually fierce only in their stamping when they’re protecting their lambs.
I always say I love heart and humor in a picture book…and this one definitely has it. Great pick, Jilanne…I am definitely going to get a copy…I want to write books that are funny/punny…but need to study more how to do it.
Thanks, Vivian! When I first write something that’s meant to be humorous, I spend all of my time on the humor. Then I have to go back and try to inject some heart. I’m trying to figure out how to do it all in one step, but it’s really hard. I always find the “heart” part to be more difficult.
Sounds like a really cute book. I wonder how successful Arnold is …!
He’s quite persuasive in the way that kids can be. He’s a very kid-like character, one of the keys to picture book success!