Ten Sleepy Sheep

By Susan Gaber (Illustrator); Phyllis Root
(Candlewick, Hardcover, 9780763615451, 32pp.)

Publication Date: February 9, 2004

List Price: $15.99*
* Individual store prices may vary.
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Ten, nine, eight. . . . Rhythmic master Phyllis Root lulls little lambs to sleep to the tune of enchanting pastoral images by Susan Gaber.

"Time to sleep,"
call the mama sheep
in the grass knee-deep.

Outside in the farmyard, ten lively lambs would rather play than go to sleep. So off they scamper, off they skip. But the sun is sinking, the stars are twinkling, and sleepy eyes can’t stay open. Ten, nine, eight. . . . One by one, ten drowsy sheep drop off to sleep in a cozy country countdown. With lilting, lyrical language and charmingly scenic views of lambs drifting off wherever they may, author and artist have blended the perfect potion to ease even spirited little ones into sweet dreams. Adorning the storybook cover are ten shiny ribbons — a different color highlighting each little sheep.

About the Author

Phyllis Root was born in Fort Wayne, Indiana, and attended Valparaiso University. A trip to a friend’s farm to help with lambing season was the inspiration for TEN SLEEPY SHEEP. "Counting sheep isn’t always easy," she confesses. "Once, while we were farm-sitting, my daughter and I had to chase down two runaway lambs in the growing darkness, then count twenty-seven frisky lambs to make sure they were all safe for the night. Luckily, they were." Phyllis Root has written many books for children, including BIG MOMMA MAKES THE WORLD, OLIVER FINDS HIS WAY, WHAT BABY WANTS, RATTLETRAP CAR, and ALL FOR THE NEWBORN BABY.

Susan Gaber has illustrated numerous books for children, including THE VERY FIRST THANKSGIVING DAY by Rhonda Gowler Greene, and WHEN WINTER COMES by Nancy Van Laan. She is very fortunate to live near a small market that has a fenced yard full of chickens, ducks, a pony, and sheep. While she was working on TEN SLEEPY SHEEP, she would study the two lambs that had come to live there. "Sheep have a reputation for being peaceful and sweet," she says, "but they can also have a stubborn and somewhat rebellious nature, especially when they’re young. Phyllis illustrates this so beautifully in her story. I’m sure children will identify with that, and I, unconsciously, may have too."

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