Reviews for Ten Sleepy Sheep
Booklist Reviews 2004 April #1
PreS-K. Hard work deserves a rest, so it's not surprising that Root would follow her tale of monumental labor, Big Momma Makes the World (2003), with this peaceful bedtime book. As dusk falls on an idyllic farmyard, 10 lambs kick up their heels in defiance of slumber's call, but one by one each finds a cozy place to lay its head. Root's lilting verses soothe the ear with repeated sounds and rhymes, concluding with one last sheep "in the grass knee-deep, / nestled by her mama, / fast asleep." Gaber's winsome acrylic-and-pastel illustrations are outstanding, rich in color and texture and filled with details to enhance side-by-side sharing. Many animals mentioned in the text ("Spiders mend"; "Crickets strum") aren't immediately obvious in the artwork, adding a gentle seek-and-find challenge, and each lamb wears a unique ribbon around its neck, allowing children to choose one and follow its progress from page to page. No real surprises here, just an unusually fine addition to parents' sleep-inducing bag of tricks. ((Reviewed April 1, 2004)) Copyright 2004 Booklist Reviews.
Horn Book Guide Reviews 2004 Fall
Counting sheep at bedtime isn't so predictable when ten lambs still want to play. Sleep finally wins out as one by one they close their eyes. Gentle verse counts down the group with playful imagery and creative rhymes for each number. Nightlights from the glowing farmhouse and stars help make the soft spring outdoors as cozy as a quilt, a lovely place for all little ones to settle down for the night. Copyright 2004 Horn Book Guide Reviews.
Horn Book Guide Reviews 2009 Fall
In a countdown to bedtime, ten sheep try everything to avoid the inevitable but can't help dropping off one by one. The sleepy rhythm and gentle illustrations make good bedtime companions. The text is just right for a board book audience, but the illustrations are slightly less successful in this smaller edition. Copyright 2009 Horn Book Guide Reviews.
Horn Book Magazine Reviews 2004 #3
Counting sheep at bedtime is not so predictable when ten little lambs still want to play. They leap and race through a farm at twilight, but sleep wins out as one by one they close their eyes. Gentle verse counts down the shrinking group with playful imagery and creative rhymes for each number: "Ten little sheep / leap the cucumber vine. / Long grass bends. / Spider mends. / Sleep, sheep. / Now there are...[page turn] 9." Pictures of rolling green hills and rounded fences slowly darken as night falls. Against the evening sky, spring bursts forth in the appearance of singing birds, new ducklings, busy bees, and, of course, the lambs themselves, adorned in bright Easter ribbons. Nightlights from the glowing farmhouse and shooting stars help make the soft spring outdoors as cozy as a quilt, a lovely place for all little ones to settle down for the night. Copyright 2004 Horn Book Magazine Reviews
Kirkus Reviews 2004 January #2
In this snooze-time, count-down rhyme, ten lambs, each identified in Gaber's cozy, twilit scenes by a differently colored neck ribbon, gambol about farmyard and fields, nodding off one by one until the last one comes back to Mama: " ‘Mama, I can't sleep.' / ‘Hush,' says her mama. / ‘Have you tried counting sheep?' " The murmurous rhythms of Root's rhyme, the soothing serenity of Gaber's art, plus smooth verbal and visual transitions between spreads make this invitation to dreamland as hard for wakeful lambs of the two-legged variety to resist as Jane Dyer's Lullaby Moons and a Silver Spoon (2003), Ruth Louise Symes's Sheep Fairy (2003), or other bedtime reading that features the ever-popular woollies. (Picture book. 3-6) Copyright Kirkus 2004 Kirkus/BPI Communications.All rights reserved.
Publishers Weekly Reviews 2004 February #2
Root's (The Name Quilt) bucolic bedtime counting book uses some spirited lambs to help young readers unwind. " `Time to sleep,'/ call the mama sheep/ in the grass knee-deep./ But ten little sheep/ don't want to sleep." A rhythmic, alliterative countdown ensues, as one by one the spunky lambs conk out at various places around the farmyard. "Five sheep scoot/ past the red barn door./ Swallows swoop./ Barn owls whoop./ Sleep, sheep./ Now there are..." (the numeral four tops the next spread). The italicized plea to sleep appears just above a vignette of a lamb settling down next to a bale of hay. The same lamb-looking more sluggish than his bouncy companions-can be found in the spread's main illustration. Gaber's (The Very First Thanksgiving Day) acrylic and pastel artwork nimbly portrays the energetic but dwindling flock while maintaining a dream-like air with soft edges and backdrops of dusky greens and blues. The pastoral scenes offer varied perspectives, from close-ups of the young sheep cavorting in a pond to aerial views of them frolicking amid the farm's routines as the day winds down. Comfortingly predictable in layout and rhyme scheme, this book serves as a soothing numerical nightcap. Ages 2-5. (Mar.) Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
School Library Journal Reviews 2004 April
PreS-K-Ten frisky lambs romp around the farm not quite ready for bed. Each time they move from one place to another, one is left behind, sound asleep. All of the spreads are configured in the same manner: an oversized illustration extends to the second page with a short stanza on the right: "10/Ten little sheep/leap the cucumber vine./Long grass bends./Spider mends./Sleep, sheep." Beneath the text is a smaller, softly focused vignette spotlighting the animal that has just fallen asleep. Finally, under this drawing is the phrase, "Now there are-," which will garner listener participation and encourage a quick turn of the page. The lambs are all wearing different colored ribbons around their necks, a visual touch that allows readers to track them individually. At story's end, one lamb remains awake and her mama asks, "Have you tried counting sheep?" As the text reiterates all of the sleeping places, an illustration of the entire farm maps all of the locales. Done in acrylics and pastels, the art carries readers from sunset to moonrise and the light is soft with lush greens and blues darkening gradually as dusk falls. Gaber uses curved lines-bounding sheep, bulging buildings-and a close focus on the action to create an intimate perspective. This sweet and simple book is nicely paced for a bedtime tale but would also be effective for group sharing.-Martha Topol, Traverse Area District Library, Traverse City, MI Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.