Parents' Choice Foundation: Reviewing Children's Media Since 1978

Parents' Choice Awards : Books : Picture Books
Russell the Sheep

Russell the Sheep

Spring 2005 Picture Books
Ages: 4 - 8 yrs.
By: Rob Scotton
ISBN: 0-06-059848-4
Hardcover Price: $15.99
This is the tale of a sheep named Russell and his frog-companion who can't sleep. As other sheep-family drift off, Russell tries different methods for himself. He looks around for a comfortable pillow (the frog), he adds and removes covers, he takes a walk, moves from place to place, counts his four feet, then numbers all the stars in the heavens (twice), but still he finds no sleep. At last he decides to count the sheep themselves and finally drifts off. The next morning, nine sheep arise and start their early activities: they shower, drink coffee, brush their teeth, read the morning paper, and eat cereal while Russell and the frog remain sound asleep.

Scotton's illustrations in soft blues and greens are dreamlike. In these illustrations, Russell appears as he is: a prize sheep with an elongated face, two round ping-pong-shaped eyes, and an oversized body that rests on four stick-legs. He wears a distinctive, long, blue-white-striped stocking cap. His long cap snakes across the pages surrounding the words and setting off three small scenes of Russell trying to find a comfortable position.

Toni Rowden   ©2005 Parents' Choice

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