'The best books, reviewed with insight and charm, but without compromise.'
- author Jackie French

Wednesday 14 April 2010

Review: Where is the Green Sheep?

There are some books I place carefully away from the small hands of my eighteen-month-old daughter, only for reading with an adult, in the interests of preserving the book in one piece. And there are others that I leave within her reach: sturdy board books that she can flick through whenever she likes, or bring to me to indicate she wants us to read a story together. Mem Fox’s Where Is The Green Sheep? falls into the latter category, and so our copy is rather tattered and worn – the signs of a well-loved, favourite book.

This is the beautiful story of a search for the green sheep, told in a series of lovely sheep rhymes and fun repetition (‘But where is the green sheep?’) that will have your child repeating the question as they grow to remember the words. Children are taught concepts such as up and down, scared and brave and near and far, as well as colours and shapes and various other concepts.

Visit Mem Fox’s website and click on ‘Green Sheep secrets’ to read the interesting background to this tale. She provides us with an intriguing insight into the length of time it took her to write a ‘simple’ short children’s story, her obsession with Horacek’s illustrated sheep and the ways she tries to avoid writing picture books. She even shares with us Draft Number 8 of Where Is The Green Sheep? which shows how far the story had to come before turning into a true Mem Fox classic.

For extra fun with this story, use the book as your prop. Lift it up high when you see the ‘up sheep’, bring it in close to your child’s face for the ‘near sheep’ and make noises for the ‘train sheep’. They will laugh and learn, and soon you too will have a lovingly tattered copy on your coffee table, ready to be read with your little one at least a few times a day.

Title: Where Is The Green Sheep?
Author: Mem Fox
Illustrator: Judy Horacek
Publisher: Puffin Books, $14.95
Publication Date: 6 March 2006
Format: Board Book
ISBN: 9780143501763
For ages: 2 – 5
Type: Picture Book