Gift Guide

Counting Ovejas


Una oveja blanca. /
One white sheep.
¡Adiós, oveja blanca! /
Good-bye, white sheep!

What do you do when you can't sleep? Count sheep in Spanish and English, of course! But what happens when those rascally sheep get a little too close for comfort? Well, if you're anything like the sleepy little hero in this clever tale, you might just tire ...

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Hardcover (6/8/2006 07:56:06:057)
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Una oveja blanca. /
One white sheep.
¡Adiós, oveja blanca! /
Good-bye, white sheep!

What do you do when you can't sleep? Count sheep in Spanish and English, of course! But what happens when those rascally sheep get a little too close for comfort? Well, if you're anything like the sleepy little hero in this clever tale, you might just tire yourself out trying to get rid of them!

From the talented duo of Sarah Weeks and Caldecott Medalist David Diaz, Counting Ovejas is the perfect way to say good night (and learn colors and numbers) in English and in Spanish.

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Editorial Reviews

From The Critics
In this lushly painted, Spanish-English bedtime story, counting sheep (ovejas) proves less than relaxing to the wakeful protagonist. A herd of sheep traipses through his bedroom -- "one white...five green...ten yellow" -- prompting the boy to devise increasingly fanciful methods of sheep removal, such as scooping them up with a front-end loader. En route to their own dreams, children learn their colors and numbers from blanco to negro and uno to diez. Spanish pronunciations are also provided. (Ages 2 to 4)
Child magazine's Best Children's Book Awards 2006
Children's Literature - Ken Marantz
Parents bid their child "Good night" in the spare text in English and Spanish. But night noises resound. To help sleep arrive, the child begins to count sheep. For each number, the reader can learn to count with him and also to name colors in Spanish. The child says "good-bye" and "Adios" to each group of sheep. After ten sheep, it is time for a thank you to the sheep, and a "Good night." The minimal text, in addition to offering practice in two languages with a pronunciation guide for the Spanish, offers a framework upon which Diaz builds the amusing visual story. Double pages are needed to hold the youngster and the growing number of sheep. As he proceeds to empty the scenes of these black-faced, curly-fleeced animals, he employs an assortment of vehicles: wheelbarrows, a red wagon, an earth-mover, etc. The expressions on the faces and the antic tangles the sheep create in resisting their evictions make for a lighthearted, comic climax to the simple tale. Diaz uses acrylic paints and pencil for the softly lit blue and pink backgrounds and subtly tinted sheep that also gambol across the endpapers.
School Library Journal
PreS-K -A boy says good night to his parents and then tries to get some shut-eye, but the nocturnal noises of the house keep him awake. So, he turns to counting sheep. First comes a single white sheep, followed by two brown ones, then three blacks ones, etc. Each succeeding grouping of rambunctious, rainbow-colored lambs must be herded out (e.g., - Adios, ovejas violetas!/Good-bye, violet sheep!-), and the youngster must come up with ever-more-resourceful ways of getting the animals out of his room. Diaz-s acrylic-and-pencil illustrations are sublime, employing a dreamy palette of colors. The bilingual text is simple, accurate, and engaging. Plenty of repetition makes this an ideal selection for early learners. Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information
Kirkus Reviews
As comfortable and cozy as the fuzzy pink bunny slippers worn by its peaceful, amply-robed night-capped child, this bilingual bed-time sheep-counting story is an auditory and visual delight. Gorgeously colored sheep with curly wool and black faces and ears leap or are led, pushed, or trundled across blue, green, pink and purple clouds after the parents say good-night: "Buenas noches. / Good night. (bweh-nahs no-chehs)." The Spanish pronunciation is printed in smaller type immediately below the words. The water faucet drips, and the clock ticks. "Shhhhhhhh!" and then the parade of ovejas begins: "Una oveja Blanca. / One white sheep." "¡Adi-s, oveja Blanca! Good-bye, white sheep!" The text is repetitious, as a bed-time counting chant should be, varying only in numbers and colors of the sheep. The expressions on the faces of the sheep and the child, the stunning juxtaposition of shapes and colors, the ingeniously varied ways in which the sheep are transported and the potential for teaching colors and numbers in both English and Spanish make this a winner. (Picture book. 2-6)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780689867507
  • Publisher: Atheneum Books for Young Readers
  • Publication date: 6/27/2006
  • Edition description: 6/8/2006 07:56:06:057
  • Pages: 40
  • Age range: 3 - 6 Years
  • Product dimensions: 10.00 (w) x 10.00 (h) x 0.50 (d)

Meet the Author

Sarah Weeks has written many books for children, including If I Were a Lion, Paper Parade, Angel Face, So B. It, and Two eggs, please. She lives in New York City. When Sarah can't get to sleep, she goes through the alphabet in her head, trying to think of people she knew in elementary school whose names begin with each letter.

DAVID DIAZ has been an illustrator and graphic designer for more than twenty-five years. His children’s book illustrations have earned him many honors and awards, including the Caldecott Medal for Smoky Night by Eve Bunting. He also illustrated the Newbery Medal winner, The Wanderer by Sharon Creech, The Gospel Cinderella by Joyce Carol Oates, Angel Face by Sarah Weeks, and Little Scarecrow’s Boy by Margaret Wise Brown, which was named a New York Times Best Illustrated Book. His bold, stylized work has appeared in editorials for national publications such as The New York Times, Washington Post, Business Week, and The Atlantic Monthly. He lives in Carlsbad, California, and more of his work can be seen at

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