JULY 13:

  • Happy birthday Marcia Brown (Stone Soup, Once a Mouse…, Shadow).
  • Best birthday wishes to Ernö Rubik, the Hungarian architect who invented the Rubik’s Cube.
  • On a related note, it’s International Puzzle Day. Read The Calder Game by Blue Balliett, illustrated by Brett Helquist, and From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler by E. L. Konigsburg.
  • It’s National French Fries Day. Read My Mother is a French Fry and Further Proof of my Fuzzed-Up Life by Collen Sydor and French Fries Up Your Nose by Margaret Ragz.

Around this time of year Ohio celebrates Sheep Day! In Wayne County at the Sheep Research Unit, Ohio State University faculty, staff, and students convene to discuss how to successfully raise sheep. If I were anywhere near this event, I’d go because I have a soft spot for sheep.

Instead I’ll pick up the book of the day, Mem Fox’s Where Is the Green Sheep? which was published in 2004 and is ideal for preschoolers. All of Mem Fox’s books contain a lilting, easy-to-read-aloud narrative, and Where Is the Green Sheep? follows that mode. It begins simply with “Here is the blue sheep. And here is the red sheep.” Then bath sheep, bed sheep, thin sheep, wide sheep, and swing sheep take the stage. Sheep go up and down, play in the sun and rain and wind. But no green sheep.  “Where IS that green sheep? / Turn the page quietly—let’s take a peep…/ Here’s our green sheep, fast asleep.”

On the way to finding the green sheep, young listeners have been not only introduced to colors but a variety of other concepts. Illustrator Judy Horacek has added animated and spirited artwork of the sheep cavorting about in all their glory. On one delightful double-page spread, she shows a flock of sheep, each engaged in different activities—fishing, parachuting, and having tea. Easy to read, the text begs to be read again and again. Even if you were not lucky enough to hear Mem Fox herself read this book, as she did when she toured in the United States, its infectious rhythm and rhyme are easy to master.

The board book version of the title, with a Spanish text in light green under the English, works not only for bilingual readers but also for those who want to gain an understanding of another language. So popular has this book become in the less than ten years since it was first published that it can be found in a variety of formats—big book, board book, paperback, and hardcover. Whatever version you prefer, few authors can teach concepts as well as Mem Fox—and have so much fun doing so. And she has managed to weave all this material into a bedtime story.

I wonder if in Wooster, Ohio, today they are talking about green sheep. Well, if they aren’t, they are missing out. The rest of us can go and hunt, once again, for that elusive and desirable green sheep.

Here’s a page from Where Is the Green Sheep?:

Where Is the Green Sheep image


Originally posted July 13, 2013. Updated for .

Tags: Animals, Bedtime
Instructional materials from TeachingBooks.net for Where Is the Green Sheep?


  1. Rebecca Hachmyer says:

    This is one of my son’s favorites– it certainly has the flavor of a timeless classic. I’ve always wondered if the above illustration is an intentional homage to George and Martha: George’s fear of the high dive and Martha’s brave rescue :) Similarly, the Moon Sheep and Star Sheep always makes me think of the final image in Helme Heine’s Friends, when the animals are dreaming of each other and walking among the stars! Fun and lovely.

  2. G. Perry says:

    How did a miss a critter flying off a diving board?

    Gotta go find this one!

  3. Anita says:

    Hope you enjoyed it; this one is lots of fun.

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