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Sunday, March 09, 2014

Wool Gathering

Wool Gathering

A Sheep Family Reunion
by Lisa Wheeler
illustrations by Frank Ansley

Ms.Wheeler is an inspiration. Perfect verses and delightful themes make her books ideal for repeat reads - not just for kids, but for kids-at-heart like me who linger just that extra few seconds to appreciate the beauty and explain it to the kids when they'd much rather keep on reading. Yes, I can be weird that way.

And, then, I rush over to the sweeter half and have him listen as I point out why this verse was hilarious and why that verse was just amazing. Did I say I can be a little weird at times?

Every family has their set of quirky members, from oddball to adorable. And the Sheep family is no exception. The book is a collection of poems, often funny and always clever, introducing us to the various members from sweet spring "Lambie Kins" to "Sister Alabaster" a Kung-Fu master (not to mention Tae Kwon Do, Karate, Judo); from odd Cousin Ephram (who wears sauerkraut instead of fur, don't ask) to Dear Hiram whose horns kept growing and growing.

Witty wordplay and catchy format make for a rollicking fun read. The very young might not get all the subtleties and nuances in the poems but will surely giggle at the bright and brilliant art by Mr. Ansley. The cheerful illustrations perfectly complement the poems.

"Aunt Ewegenia" who always makes ewesful things was an instant hit with the 5 year old as he immediately commented that it reminded him of "Pterosaurs" by Douglas Florian in the Dinothesaurs collection, another brilliant book. [Has Mr.Florian ever written&illustrated a non-brilliant book?!]

Many poems are silly and light and short, with a comfortable lilt which attracts the young.


Itchy is a little lamb 
His fleece is white as rice 
You wonder how he got his name? 
Just ask his fleas and lice!

All in all, a perfect book for continuing our study of poetry at home via brilliant picture books.

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