Posted by: jeannineatkins | March 29, 2010

What I’m Reading: Feeding the Sheep by Leda Schubert

Small children like to know where the things around them come from. Not so long ago, a child could point at a table, and a father might show her a plank or a tree. A child could hold up an egg, and someone could point to a chicken. In a knitter’s home, a child could touch a scarf, sweater, or socks, and be shown a ball of yarn, but where does the yarn come from?

Feeding the Sheep by Leda Schubert not only answers this question and more, but does so in the context of the seasons. A girl’s questions cast a rhythm, and answers are followed with a sprint of rhyme that speak to the senses. We see a mother and daughter through a year in which sheep are fed and sheared, then the wool carded, dyed, spun on a big wheel and knitted on a lap. The words are few but perfect, and Andrea U’Ren’s illustrations are joyful and lush. It’s a happy read to the end when the mother takes her turn with a question, and the daughter answers and feeds the sheep. This warm book is bound to be worn, no read, again and again. A perfect gift for any spring rite or celebration.

I was just about to link this review to the nonfiction Monday roundup when I asked myself: is this nonfiction? Yes, there’s information about sheep-raising to sweater-knitting and everything between. But the book is short and full of music. Nonfiction with poetry is one of my favorite kinds. I’m voting yes, and aptly, the host for the roundup this week is Tricia, whose blog name honors Miss Rumphius, who I’m sure would love a book like this. Go check out some other books, and a tribute to Patricia Lauber, at:



  1. This sounds like a great book – I really go for nonfiction where the line between fiction and nonfiction is blurred because of the quality of writing or artistic illustration. The book I’ve reviewed for today’s nonfiction round up also falls into this category – The Planet Gods by J Mitton

  2. I like how you put that: sometimes the freedom to move beyond facts allows more room for creativity. I will check out your review!

  3. This book sounds wonderful for showing children relationships between animals, plants, and people. Thanks for sharing.

  4. Perfectly said!

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