Wednesday, November 5, 2008

"One More Sheep"

One More Sheep
Written by: Mij Kelly
Illustrated by: Russell Ayto
Published by: Peachtree Publishers in Atlanta, GA in 2006
ISBN: 1-56145-387-1
Genre: Picture Book, Concept Book
Reading Level: Grade 2
Activity Level: Kindergarten

Summary: This book is about a man who brings his sheep home with him one night so that they did not get too cold outside or being eaten by wolves. He gave them all wool (irony) socks and hats and tucked them snugly into bed. But, when he tried to count all of his sheep, he fell asleep because that is what apparently happens to people when they count sheep. All are resting well that night until there is a knock on the door and Sam almost lets in a wolf dressed as a sheep because he believes he forgot to bring one of his sheep indoors. The sheep quickly shut the door to keep him from making that mistake, but have to find a way for him to realize that all ten of his sheep are inside without him falling to sleep counting them, so they decide to put on a show for him. Once Sam realizes that all of his sheep are with him, he almost lets the wolf in again when he tries to determine who or what could be outside his house dressed as a sheep! In the end, they all go back to bed, and, though mush excitement has occurred this night, Sam has not trouble going to sleep—he just begins to count his sheep—1,...2,…...3,………..4………………ZZZZZ.

Response: I think this book is absolutely adorable. It has the good sheep and the bad wolf and a humorous story—all of which young children would appreciate. Plus, it incorporates math into the book, which gives teachers a perfect reason for reading this book in their classrooms!

The illustrations in this book are very cute. They are a combination of single-, double-, and split-page spreads. (Sometimes the illustrator segments the pages into fractions and has multiple illustrations on a set of pages.) One page, where the sheep are putting on a show, even folds out, creating even more interest for readers. The colors are fairly dark and muted because this book takes place at night, so there are many shades of purples and blacks as well as yellows and reds.

Teaching Connections: This book could be used in a kindergarten classroom as part of a math lesson. The teacher could read this book to her students and on the pages where the main character counts sheep, she could point to each sheep and have the class count how many there are. From there, the teacher could begin her math lesson about the numbers from one to ten.

What Students Learn: From this book and the activity, students learn about the numbers one through ten and about rhyming words, as this book has a very distinct rhythm when read aloud.

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