The Surprise

By Sylvia Van Ommen
(Lemniscaat USA, Hardcover, 9781932425857, 22pp.)

Publication Date: April 2007

Other Editions of This Title: Hardcover

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Description

Sheep carefully charts the growth of his wool coat. When it's long enough, he rides his moped to buy some red dye and dyes his wool and shaves it off. Sheep puts on a sweater and takes the wool to Poodle, who spins it into yarn. Back at home, Sheep knits a beautiful red sweater as a surprise present for Giraffe




About the Author

Sylvia attended the Academy of Art in Kampen, where she specialized in illustrating. She illustrates and writes about everything she sees and hears around her. Animals are often the main characters in her work.She made her debut with the funny, philosophical picture book Jellybeans.




Praise For The Surprise

School Library Journal (05/01/2007):
PreS-Gr 2True to its title, this quiet, wordless story will keep readers wondering just what the protagonist, a sheep, is up to. After taking some measurements, she realizes that she has enough wool on her body to suit her purposes. She dyes the wool red, shears it off, and, donning a sweater to warm herself, takes the wool to a poodle to be spun into yarn. The sheep then works late into the night, knitting and sewing. Obviously she is preparing something specialbut what is it? The final page turn brings a satisfying resolution to the mystery. Even the very young will be able to follow the story by reading the uncluttered, outlined illustrations. The vignettes of the sheep dying, washing, and blow-drying the wool while it is still on her body and then shaving it off are priceless. Her trips via motorcycle, pocketbook slung across her shoulder, bag of wool strapped on the back, and the scenes depicting her struggle to keep her eyes open as she plies her knitting needles reveal her dogged dedication to her task. A fine addition for wordless-book collections."Marianne Saccardi, formerly at Norwalk Community College, CT" Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information.



Publishers Weekly (05/14/2007):
This sly, wordless story follows Sheep as he prepares a special gift for his friend Giraffe. The full extent of Sheep's plan is only fully revealed on the final pages: Ommen's ("Jellybeans") bright, spare paintings offer just enough detail and information to keep pages turning. As the story opens, Sheep realizes his accumulated wool has given him a less than sleek appearance (readers first see him from the back, standing on a bathroom scale). After checking himself out in the mirror and taking some measurements, he purchases a bottle of bright red dye, which he uses to color his own wool (while it's still on his body). In a very funny sequence, he waits for the dye to be ready, then showers and shaves himselfbriefly appearing to be wearing a voluminous crimson shawl. Sheep then hires a haughty poodle to turn the wool into yarn, knits and constructs the sweater, wraps it, and, finally, presents it to the grateful Giraffe. Sheep is clearly a cool, confident fellow, and the fact that he runs his various errands on a cherry-red motorbike only adds to his appealing é lan. Youngsters should certainly get a giggle out of several visual gags in this slim story, particularly Giraffe's satisfied countenance as he admires his new duds. Ages 2-up. "(Apr.)" Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information.



Kirkus Reviews

"A feel-good tale ... bright in both mood and color."

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