The Surprise

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Overview

Sheep carefully charts the growth of his wool coat. When it's long enough, he rides his moped to buy some red dye and dyes his wool and shaves it off. Sheep puts on a sweater and takes the wool to Poodle, who spins it into yarn. Back at home, Sheep knits a beautiful red sweater as a surprise present for Giraffe

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2007-04-01 Hardcover Good in good dust jacket. Good, In good dust jacket. Sewn binding. Paper over boards. Picture book. With dust jacket. 22 p. Contains: Illustrations. ... Ex-Library expected imperfections. Read more Show Less

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Overview

Sheep carefully charts the growth of his wool coat. When it's long enough, he rides his moped to buy some red dye and dyes his wool and shaves it off. Sheep puts on a sweater and takes the wool to Poodle, who spins it into yarn. Back at home, Sheep knits a beautiful red sweater as a surprise present for Giraffe

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

Publishers Weekly (05/14/2007):
This sly, wordless story follows Sheep as he prepares a special gift for his friend Giraffe. The full extent of Sheep's plan is only fully revealed on the final pages: Ommen's ("Jellybeans") bright, spare paintings offer just enough detail and information to keep pages turning. As the story opens, Sheep realizes his accumulated wool has given him a less than sleek appearance (readers first see him from the back, standing on a bathroom scale). After checking himself out in the mirror and taking some measurements, he purchases a bottle of bright red dye, which he uses to color his own wool (while it's still on his body). In a very funny sequence, he waits for the dye to be ready, then showers and shaves himselfbriefly appearing to be wearing a voluminous crimson shawl. Sheep then hires a haughty poodle to turn the wool into yarn, knits and constructs the sweater, wraps it, and, finally, presents it to the grateful Giraffe. Sheep is clearly a cool, confident fellow, and the fact that he runs his various errands on a cherry-red motorbike only adds to his appealing é lan. Youngsters should certainly get a giggle out of several visual gags in this slim story, particularly Giraffe's satisfied countenance as he admires his new duds. Ages 2-up. "(Apr.)" Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information.

Publishers Weekly

This sly, wordless story follows Sheep as he prepares a special gift for his friend Giraffe. The full extent of Sheep's plan is only fully revealed on the final pages: Ommen's (Jellybeans) bright, spare paintings offer just enough detail and information to keep pages turning. As the story opens, Sheep realizes his accumulated wool has given him a less than sleek appearance (readers first see him from the back, standing on a bathroom scale). After checking himself out in the mirror and taking some measurements, he purchases a bottle of bright red dye, which he uses to color his own wool (while it's still on his body). In a very funny sequence, he waits for the dye to be ready, then showers and shaves himself-briefly appearing to be wearing a voluminous crimson shawl. Sheep then hires a haughty poodle to turn the wool into yarn, knits and constructs the sweater, wraps it, and, finally, presents it to the grateful Giraffe. Sheep is clearly a cool, confident fellow, and the fact that he runs his various errands on a cherry-red motorbike only adds to his appealing élan. Youngsters should certainly get a giggle out of several visual gags in this slim story, particularly Giraffe's satisfied countenance as he admires his new duds. Ages 2-up. (Apr.)

Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information
Children's Literature - Ken Marantz
The totally textless tale begins with a view of our main character, a sheep, from the rear as she weighs herself on a scale. She then checks the thickness of her fleece with a ruler, and sets off on her motorbike to select a red dye at the store. The bottles on the store shelf reflect the attractive introduction on the end-papers. In a series of vignettes, she dyes her wool, washes and dries it, then carefully shaves it off with an electric razor. Putting a knit shirt on her now bare body, she bikes the wool to an adorable poodle to be spun into yarn. The yarn is wound into a ball, a sweater is knit with care, then wrapped and delivered to a delighted giraffe. It clearly was carefully measured, for it fits beautifully. A kiss is the reward for this surprise labor of love. The actions take place on varied colored pages with no background, and none is necessary. The paintings contain no excess details; only the affectionate care of an effective story-teller.
School Library Journal

PreS - Gr 2 - True to its title, this quiet, wordless story will keep readers wondering just what the protagonist, a sheep, is up to. After taking some measurements, she realizes that she has enough wool on her body to suit her purposes. She dyes the wool red, shears it off, and, donning a sweater to warm herself, takes the wool to a poodle to be spun into yarn. The sheep then works late into the night, knitting and sewing. Obviously she is preparing something special-but what is it? The final page turn brings a satisfying resolution to the mystery. Even the very young will be able to follow the story by "reading" the uncluttered, outlined illustrations. The vignettes of the sheep dying, washing, and blow-drying the wool while it is still on her body and then shaving it off are priceless. Her trips via motorcycle, pocketbook slung across her shoulder, bag of wool strapped on the back, and the scenes depicting her struggle to keep her eyes open as she plies her knitting needles reveal her dogged dedication to her task. A fine addition for wordless-book collections.-Marianne Saccardi, formerly at Norwalk Community College, CT

Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781932425857
  • Publisher: Lemniscaat USA
  • Publication date: 4/28/2007
  • Pages: 22
  • Age range: 4 - 8 Years
  • Product dimensions: 8.70 (w) x 8.50 (h) x 0.40 (d)

Meet the Author

Sylvia attended the Academy of Art in Kampen, where she specialized in illustrating. She illustrates and writes about everything she sees and hears around her. Animals are often the main characters in her work.She made her debut with the funny, philosophical picture book Jellybeans.

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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Posted May 15, 2010

    Adorable book!

    The only two words in the book are the title. It's an adorable book that is just as poignant for children as for adults. One can relate to the book regardless of race, nationality, age, or almost any other factor! A review can't describe too much of the book without giving away "The Surprise," but suffice it to say that this will be a treasured book in your collection - one you could show to any person who walks through your door.

    I first saw this book in German, even though it was a Dutch author who wrote/illustrated it. We used this book in a foreign language classroom to generate discussion and to get the kids describing what they saw. It was a good writing prompt and a good lesson for everyone who looks through this book.

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