"I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book with my daughter. It tells the story of the process from raising sheep to knitting a sweater from the wool in simple, poetic language that sounds so nice when you read it out loud. The artwork is beautiful with amazing details so that with many reads there are still details to find. My 19 month old daughter loved the repeating characters on each page. A lovely book for mothers and daughters, spinners, knitters, animal lovers and anyone who enjoys reading aloud to children." Tanya said.
"The snow was falling heavily as a little girl played in the snow making snowballs and watching her mother work. The sheep clustered around her mother waiting to be fed corn and hay. The barn roof was laden with heavy snow with icicles forming at its edges. It would be a while before it would be spring, a time when the sheep would be sheared. When it arrived the little girl could be found playing beneath a freshly shorn fleece. "What are you doing?" she asked her mother. Her mother had spread clean rugs for the sheep to stand on while she sheared them in the holding pen. "Shearing the wool . . . soft and deep, sheepy heap."
"What are you doing?" The work and questions would continue. The wool needed to be washed, dried, carded, and spun. The little girl somersaulted as she watched the dog chase his tail and her mother turn the wheel of her spinning wheel. Whir, whir, whir! There would be much time to play because "Fluffy pile, takes a while," but after a while she would fall fast asleep curled up in a chair. The yarn would have to be dyed into the "deepest blue" and when the autumn leaves begin to leave the trees her mother would begin to knit. "What are you doing?"
This beautiful, lyrical story tells the story of farm life and lets us "follow the journey from sheep to sweater." I loved the totally innocent and realistic quality of this tale. We learn about the "journey" when the little girl continually asked questions. For example, as we learn about the process, we learn that the wool needs to be washed ("Soap and steam, fleecy clean"). You can see the dish soap on the counter, something a traditional hand-spinner would use. The reader will love the homey feel of this book and the journey can be an enjoyable learning experience or simply a fun one to read. The delightful art work caught every little nuance of the process and meshed perfectly with the story. This is a little country experience you're going to love!" Deb said.
"Feeding the Sheep is about as close to a perfect book as you can get. The story is heartwarming - a conversation between a little girl and her mother on a snowy day in a rural area, probably in Vermont, which is where the author, Leda Schubert, lives. The child keeps asking the same question, "What are you doing?" Her mother answers simply, "feeding the sheep," or "shearing the wool." The author then adds a short rhyming couplet, a lyrical finale to the simple event. Each page provides another step in the process of raising sheep and eventually knitting a wool sweater to keep the child warm. The pets, a dog and a cat, appear in each picture. Happiness exudes from the Mom and her child. In the end, the mother asks the child what she is doing. She is following in her mother's footsteps by feeding the sheep. I can't remember the last time I read such a simple, uplifting book with perfect illustrations that look like woodcuts, but are probably watercolor paint with outlining, by Andrea U'Ren." Linda L. Lamme said.
"A young child watches her mother over the course of a year and learns that much work goes into transforming a sheep's wooly coat into a blue sweater. First the mother shears the sheep and washes the wool. Once the strands have dried, mother can card the wool and spin the yarn. Dyeing the yarn blue proves messy, but the end result is a lovely yarn that mother can knit into a warm sweater for her daughter.
Most state content standards include economics concepts in the earliest grades, and most start with natural resources and human resources. With Schubert's straightforward rhyming text and U'Ren's signature bold illustrations, this new book makes a useful vehicle for introducing young learners to these concepts in a framework they will appreciate and enjoy." Yana V. Rodgers said.
"A curious little girl asks her hard-working mother repeatedly "What are you doing?", and the mother responds by telling her sequentially all the steps necessary to create a sweater from scratch including "feeding the sheep", "shearing the wool", and finally "knitting the wool". Of course, the actual time is foreshortened. Cute rhyming phrases and bright, colorful illustrations make this book a good choice to share with a group. In one particularly charming question and answer passage, the mother answers the little girl's question with, "Keeping you warm...Sweater snug, woolly hug" and the illustration shows mother and daughter who is now wearing a blue sweater nestling happily together. Pair this with the wonderful non-fiction title, "Spring Fleece" by Catherine Paladino (Joy Street Books, 1990)" Kirsten G. Cutler said.
"My grandson age 3 loves this book he has memorized the story and now reads it to himself." Bonnye Vitek said.