Picture Book Picks: From Sheep to Sweater

I’ve been working on a big project in the Picture Book section at my library lately. It’s made me think about the fact that you can find a picture book for just about any topic you can imagine. Including, of course, knitting. And spinning. And weaving. (I haven’t found crochet yet, but I’m sure I will.)

Being me, I was drawn to the yarny yarns. Want to hear about a few of them? Of course you do! You know, books make fantastic holiday presents for the kids (and adults, for that matter) in your life. I checked all of these out from my library for review. The Amazon links don’t net anything for me, in case anyone is wondering, since they’re not affiliate links.

The Surprise by Sylvia Van Ommen.

Originally published in the Netherlands as Verrassing, this is a wordless picture book. That’s right, no words, just pictures. Give this one to a pre-reader and have her tell you what’s happening as a scooter-riding sheep turns her own wool into a special sweater for a friend. From shearing to spinning to knitting, it’s all there in the brightly-colored gouache illustrations.

Feeding the Sheep, by Leda Schubert, with pictures by Andrea U’Ren

Step by step, through the seasons of a year, a mother transforms her sheep’s wool into a sweater for her daughter. In each watercolor spread, the little girl asks, “What are you doing?” and gets a brief explanation. By the end of the book, the little girl is ready to take on the tasks herself. This one is especially good for a spinner-to-be.

Farmer Brown Shears his Sheep: a Yarn about Wool, by Teri Sloat, with illustrations by Nadine Bernard Westcott.

This adorable book is the third in a series about Farmer Brown, and it seems to be sadly out of print. After being shorn and left with only fuzz in the chilly Spring air, the sheep follow Farmer Brown around as he takes the wool to be dyed and spun into yarn. The perplexed sheep end up tangled in the yarn before Farmer Brown realizes what’s going on, but all ends happily once he knits each of them a colorful, comfy cardigan to wear. The bouncy rhythm and easy rhyme, plus the giggle-inducing pictures, make this a winning picture book, so I’m sad to see that it’s only available through third-party sellers on Amazon, and not at all at Powell’s. Get it second-hand, or check it out from your local library to share.

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2 thoughts on “Picture Book Picks: From Sheep to Sweater

  1. I love THE SURPRISE. There used to be another great picture book called CHARLIE NEEDS A CLOAK by Tomi de Paola that follows the path of sheep to cloak. Oops. Now that I think of it, it is woven rather than knitted at the end of the story. But it’s still a wonderful and funny book.

    George Shannon

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