Review Blog

Sep 30 2020

Where is the green sheep? by Mem Fox and Judy Horacek

cover image

Puffin, 2017. ISBN: 9780143501763. 32pp., board book.
Here is the blue sheep, and here is the red sheep. Here is the bath sheep, and here is the bed sheep. But where is the green sheep? There are some stories that you can recite word for word even if it's years since you last read them, such is their power and the insistence of the little ones in your life to "Read it again, Grandma!"
I owe a debt of gratitude to Mem and Judy because this is the story that Miss Now-9 learned to read on and when Grandma got tired, Miss Now 14 was able to take over the reading duties. No other book, no matter how well promoted, ever came close to the demand for this one and so with Puffin's 80th birthday celebrations in full swing, it seems timely to promote it to a whole new generation of parents and grandparents so they too can achieve this particular rite of passage.
With its. rhyme, rhythm and repetition and simple illustrations that help the youngest reader to predict the text and share the joy when it is confirmed, Fox and Horacek have hit on the right recipe for a story to encourage our youngest readers to love the sound of our language. Given Mem's background in working with and writing for littlies though, this is hardly surprising and you know any book with her name on the cover will be a winner.
In fact, so iconic is this title from one of Australia's most-loved author-illustrator partnerships that there is even a 2020 edition that really puts the icing on the cake of this special year. There can be no greater tribute.
Barbara Braxton

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