Posts Tagged ‘sheep’

Picture Books Exploring Individuality – Both Set in Scotland

Posted on September 7th, 2011 by Carolyn Hart

Introducing two picture books exploring diversity and celebrating individuality

Picture Books Exploring Individuality – Both Set in Scotland - ArgyleArgyle written by Barbara Wallace and illustrated by John Sandford
Picture book about individuality and self acceptance published by Boyds Mills Press

Argyle’s life was exactly the way he wanted it. He was the same as all the other sheep and that was just fine with him. While roaming the highlands, Argyle discovered some especially tasty grass and some very colorful flowers. Day after day he ate the flowers until… “One day MacDougal’s wife, Katharine, said, “Why dinna ye tell me about the many-colored sheep, MacDougal?” The ensuing fuss is not at all to Argyle’s liking. Placed in a pen by himself, he can’t roam and he can’t eat the delicious, colorful flowers. Thankfully, it does not take long in the “special” pen for him to lose his many colors. He returns to looking and feeling like a sheep and that is just fine with him.
Argyle is a lovely, gentle folk tale that reminds us being different may not be all that it seems. Sometimes being the same as everyone else is just fine.

Argyle at

Argyle at

Picture Books Exploring Individuality – Both Set in Scotland - Katie Morag and the Dancing ClassKatie Morag and the Dancing Class written and illustrated by Mairi Hedderwick
Picture book about individuality published by Transworld Publishers

Katie Morag & the Dancing Class is a new and delightful picture book from Mairi Hedderwick. Also set in Scotland, it has been decided that the Isle of Struay children will benefit from dancing classes. Despite the efforts of her two grandmas, Katie Morag has more interesting things to do than learn ballet. Much to Granma Mainland’s dismay, Katie prefers wellies to ballet slippers and never manages to arrive at her ballet class on time.

One Saturday morning, Katie misses the entire class, arriving just as The Big Boy Cousins begin their tap dance class. As those who know Katie might suspect, she is more inclined toward tap dancing than ballet and before long Grannie Island is rummaging in her cupboards for metal tacks.

Katie Morag has long been a favourite in our household. We first me her in Katie Morag Delivers the Mail and have enjoyed her many adventures and misadventures very much. There is a gentleness to the stories and a wonderful sense of community. In this book, the contrast between the two grandmas (Granma Mainland and Grannie Island) is highlighted. Of course, both want what is best for Katie but it is Grannie Island who understands her best.

Katie Morag and the Dancing Class at

Katie Morag and the Dancing Class at

For further ideas about celebrating diversity, be sure to visit our Celebrating Diversity with Picture Books page and our page with Quotes about Diversity.

If you are pulling together resources about sheep and lambs, you may be interested in our Baa Baa Black Sheep nursery rhyme printable.

image of PDF icon  Baa Baa Black Sheep

A free printable nursery rhyme for home and school use: Baa Baa Black Sheep

Getting Ready to Read Plus – Day Three

Posted on July 6th, 2011 by Carolyn Hart

Today’s letter was ‘F’ and the theme was “Fun in the Forest.” In addition to talking about letter ‘F,’ I used characters made of felt to tell the story of the Tortoise and the Hare. After I began the story, some of the children recognized it – I was so pleased. We want young children to become familiar with traditional fables such as this one.

At the end of today’s class, we played an active game that involved “delivering mail” to Rabbit, Bear, Deer and Squirrel. It was essentially a matching activity but it drew the children’s attention to how words are alike and different and it gave them a chance to move around the room.

Today’s story was a favourite of mine:Stella, Fairy of the Forest – written & illustrated by Marie-Louise Gay

Marie-Louise Gay’s books about Sam and Stella are marvelous. This, their third adventure, Stella, Fairy of the Forest begins when Sam asks Stella about fairies. Stella knows just where to find some. She leads Sam through meadows, across a stream and into a magical forest.

This story is truly lovely especially in its treatment of the siblings’ relationship. Ms. Gay’s illustrations have a luminous quality particularly her depictions of the delightful red-head, Stella. Don’t miss it!

32 pages, Ages 2 to 5

Marie Louise Gay’s website includes printable stickers, colouring sheets, posters and bookmarks

Stella, Fairy of the Forest at

Stella, Fairy of the Forest at

Woolly Foursome Finds Friends: The Baabaasheep Quartet

Posted on March 26th, 2011 by Carolyn Hart

Storytime Standouts looks at a picture book about friendship: The Baabaasheep QuartetThe Baabaasheep Quartet – written and illustrated by Leslie Elizabeth Watts
Picture book published by Fitzhenry & Whiteside;

When four sheep retire and move to the city, they adopt a rather cosmopolitan life style – decorating a high rise apartment, attending the opera and dining out. But, they can’t seem to find a way to find new friends. Sadly, they just don’t seem to fit in with city dwellers. Part time gardening jobs are fine until the flower bed looks altogether too delicious. Even their hoof-made baby sweaters have two extra legs! One day, to their delight, they learn of an upcoming Baabaasheep Quartet contest. They feel certain that entering the contest will help them to find friends. The Baabaasheep Quartet practices every day and every where in preparation for the big event. Sure enough, their fine singing voices allow this fun tale to end on a happy note.

From that day on, the Baabaasheep Quartet was a great success…They never encountered any other singing sheep. But wherever they went, whenever they sang, they never again worried about fitting in.

Ages 4-8

Winner of the 2006 Amelia Frances Howard-Gibbon Award for Illustration
2006 Saskatchewan Young Readers’ Choice Shining Willow Award Nominee
Foreword Magazine Book of the Year Award Honorable Mention in the Children’s Picture Book Category
Shining Willow nominee 2006
Canadian Children’s Book Centre Our Choice, 2006

The Baabaasheep Quartet at

The Baabaasheep Quartet at

Extreme Makeovers Aren’t Enough for The Very Cranky Bear

Posted on February 25th, 2009 by Carolyn Hart

Storytime Standouts looks at The Very Cranky BearThe Very Cranky Bear written and illustrated by Nick Bland
Picture book about friends and friendship published by Scholastic

What a delight! Four young animal friends decide a dry but dark cave is the perfect place to take shelter from a downpour. They have just settled into a sociable game of cards when a weary, bad-tempered bear chases them out of the cave and into the rain. Three of the pals decide that the bear’s misery must be due to his rather nondescript appearance. When their ill-advised makeover does nothing to improve the bear’s mood, it is left to a plain but thoughtful sheep to make the cantankerous bear comfortable. Teaching guide for The Very Cranky Bear

The Very Cranky Bear at

The Very Cranky Bear at

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