The Sleep Sheep

Overview


Sylvie wants to count the sheep so that she can finally fall asleep, but how can she if they won't stay still? Dancing, skating, swimming sheep--it's exhausting keeping up with them!

"You're exasperating, Sylvie," her mother says. "I'm not trying to be exasperating, Mommy," Sylvie replies, "I just can't sleep!" "Why don't you try counting sheep?" her mom suggests. So Sylvie tries. She shuts her eyes and imagines hundreds and hundreds of sheep, all in a row. But no sooner have the sheep lined up than they start ...

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Overview


Sylvie wants to count the sheep so that she can finally fall asleep, but how can she if they won't stay still? Dancing, skating, swimming sheep--it's exhausting keeping up with them!

"You're exasperating, Sylvie," her mother says. "I'm not trying to be exasperating, Mommy," Sylvie replies, "I just can't sleep!" "Why don't you try counting sheep?" her mom suggests. So Sylvie tries. She shuts her eyes and imagines hundreds and hundreds of sheep, all in a row. But no sooner have the sheep lined up than they start to jig! And jog. And rollerblade and scooter and skateboard. Straight to the beach, where they go swimming! After all this activity, the sheep start to nap. At last they're still! Now Sylvie can count them: "1, 2, 3, Zzzz" The sheep thought she'd never nod off!

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
This winning bedtime book celebrates a child's imagination. When her frustrated mother suggests that she count sheep to fall asleep, Sylvie quickly imagines "hundreds and hundreds of sheep," but they are a wily flock. Shaw's (Evil Weasel) witty pen and ink drawings are chockablock with charismatic sheep "rumbaaa-ing," skateboarding, and otherwise milling about, none of which helps Sylvie count them ("Hey, sheep," she says, "you're really exasperating"). Sylvie follows the sheep to the beach where they play cards, read storybooks, arrange flowers, play board games, and finally fall asleep, at which point Sylvie is able to count them and fall asleep herself. The sheep--who, it turns out, clearly know what they're doing--tiptoe away and sail off aboard "The Dream Boat" ("I thought she'd never nod off!"). McQuinn's (Lola at the Library) clever conceit is expanded considerably by the comic details that fill every spread (the sheep's apparel is wonderfully diverse, especially at the beach, where they don "trunks and bikinis, suntan lotion and snorkeling goggles"). The gentle adventure blends seamlessly into the calming bedtime-ready ending. Ages 3–6. (May)
Children's Literature - Eleanor Heldrich
This amusing tale of a little girl trying to get to sleep comes in a large book with a bright blue dust cover with quirky lettering and illustrations wrapped over the shiny yellow book casing underneath featuring more fun images. As the book begins, it is nighttime and Sylvie can't get to sleep. She has already enjoyed her chocolate milk and her harried mother has read her three stories and brought Sylvie three glasses of water, but sleep just won't happen. "Why don't you try counting sheep?" suggests her mother. So "Sylvie closes her eyes tightly and imagines hundred and hundreds of sheep." For the remaining pages the author and illustrator, Hannah Shaw, portray Sylvie's increasing exhaustion trying to count so many sheep dancing and running, skateboarding and swimming, playing and working until all the sheep fall asleep, making them easy to count so Sylvie can fall asleep, too. The book is fun to read and has illustrations that will offer new things to notice and enjoy with each reading. Reviewer: Eleanor Heldrich
School Library Journal
Gr 2—Sylvie is the kind of child whose mind never stops. She demands stories, and water, and drives her mother to distraction in order to avoid bedtime. When her mother suggests she count sheep, Sylvia gives it a try, but they won't stay still. They dance, swim, and rollerblade, making it impossible for her to get a tally. It isn't until the herd pretends to sleep that the child can successfully count them and drift off herself. The cartoon pen-and-ink drawings paint vivid scenes of Sylvie's imagination and are flush with fun details. Readers will linger over each page, looking for Sylvie's pink stuffed elephant throughout the story or the sheep in the cowboy hat with bucked teeth. A counting tale sandwiched in the middle of a bedtime story, The Sleep Sheep moves along at a rapid clip and with enough humor to be a successful read-aloud. Libraries certainly aren't wanting for additional child-won't-sleep stories, but this silly romp through dreamland and wild take on the counting-sheep story offers a new bedtime option.—Sarah Townsend, Norfolk Public Library, VA
Kirkus Reviews
McQuinn and Shaw breathe new life into an old saw-counting sheep-by matching an imaginative, wide-awake little girl with a large flock of peripatetic sheep far too busy to be counted. Ensuing ovine ambulation includes dancing, skating, cycling, scootering and swimming, followed by assorted gaming and crafting on the beach. When the sheep then understandably slumber, Sylvie can finally count them, which results in-well, you know. Shaw's cheery mixed-media pictures depict skinny-legged, woolly sheep amid a plethora of accoutrements. Sylvie's stuffed elephant is busy-and sleepy-when she is. Emergent readers can decipher, with help perhaps, signs, book titles and T-shirt messages as well as a trove of visual jokes. And even if they don't understand the last laugh (as the sheep tiptoe off to a ship, an old ewe says, "Whew, I'm exhausted. / I thought she'd never nod off!"), they'll think they did. A pleasant romp, wry and sweet. (Picture book. 3-6)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780545231459
  • Publisher: Scholastic, Inc.
  • Publication date: 5/1/2010
  • Pages: 32
  • Age range: 3 - 5 Years
  • Lexile: AD600L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 9.20 (w) x 11.20 (h) x 0.40 (d)

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