Friday, June 21, 2013

Where is the Green Sheep? by Mem Fox and Judy Horacek

This is a terrific book by veteran children's author Mem Fox with colourful, cute, quirky illustrations by Judy Horacek.

The simple, repetitive text makes this a great read aloud book to be enjoyed by children of all ages. The short story makes this book a good choice for sharing with very young children - Maximilian has been enjoying this book since around six months age and now, at 19 months, enjoys it just as much, as does my 3 year old nephew.

It would also be a great book for learning to read. When looking into it, I was fascinated to discover that this book has 190 words - 188 have one syllable, 1 word has two syllables and 1 word has 3 syllables - perfect for teaching words and reading skills to young children. This simplicity can be the secret of success in a picture book and certainly is in this case.

The illustrations are just fabulous and reward multiple reads, which is always a joy since reading the same book hundreds of times on request can get tiresome :-) We've been reading this book for more than a year now and it is still a rewarding pleasure to read each time. We still find new things to talk about and the book continues to teach Maximilian new words and concepts - for example, he loves to say "Wheeee!" for the slide sheep! I also love that he now knows what's coming, so when we get to "Turn the page quietly, let's take a peep", Maximilian already puts his finger to his lips and says "Shhh".

We have the small board book version but it is also available as a traditional sized soft page or board book (and the fabulous illustrations would reward the larger format).

Mem Fox has written an amazing number of children's books, including classics like Possum Magic and Koala Lou, won multiple book awards and is also a passionate advocate of reading to children - her book Reading Magic has wonderful tips on how and why to read aloud and how to choose books. Also check out her website for heaps of great information, including the fascinating and hilarious story of writing Where is the Green Sheep? !

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