Review Blog

Jul 30 2019

Baa baa blue sheep by Tony Wilson

cover image

Illus. by Laura Wood. Scholastic, 2019. ISBN: 9781760666446.
(Age: 4+) Recommended. Themes: Counting, Colours, Sheep. Before the pages are opened all readers will have the nursery rhyme, Baa baa black sheep, running through their heads. And this funny turn on the well known rhyme will have children reading along, smiles on their faces as they recognise the different hues used for the wool, and the clever rhymes used by the writer. And reading the story they will notice the repetition of the refrain, the colours used and the numbers counting back from nine to three.
Two people are arguing over the bags of wool. A well dressed master pipes up that he wants all the nine bags of blue wool, because he is 'a blue kind of guy'. But the dame also wants the bags, and in the end they fight over them only to see the bags of wool roll into a ditch. Next comes the purple wool. The dame wants the eight bags but the master disagrees so they fight and the purple wool is torn apart. Then the red wool is fought over, and the yellow and the green, until finally the little boy who lived down the lane puts a halt to the proceedings and they work out a compromise.
I loved the way this rhyme uses the original Baa baa black sheep, and readers will recognise elements of the original nursery rhyme as they read this.
Recognition of rhyming words, prediction of words that rhyme, laughing along with the reading out loud, a shoo-in to talk about nursery rhymes that are well known and perhaps even some attempts at turning a well known rhyme around, will all emanate from this cute tale.
The digital illustrations cleverly reflect what is happening in the text, and readers will love searching out the parallels between this tale and the original Baa baa black sheep.
The endpapers with their balls of differently coloured wool will initiate some talk about wool, sheep and knitting and perhaps encourage some classes to try knitting or any wool crafts for themselves.
Fran Knight

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