Wednesday 27 September 2023

Where Will the Sleepy Sheep Sleep?

Where Will the Sleepy Sheep Sleep? by David Metzenthen & Jonathan Bentley (Allen & Unwin) PB HB RRP $19.99 9781761066160

Reviewed by Karen Hendriks

David Metzenthen and Jonathan Bentley are award-winning creators of this charming bedtime tongue twister.

Sleepy Sheep needs somewhere to sleep. Each place that Sleepy Sheep finds seems good until Sleepy Sheep tries to sleep. Baah! Noooo! Oh where, oh where, will this poor tired sheep finally sleep?

Author David Metzenthen is masterful at word play. His words have such an ease about them that they joyfully flow across every page. His use of questioning beautifully encourages each page-turn to seek the answer. Do you think the sleepy sheep will sleep on top of this wild and windy hill? His alliteration and repetitive patterning pop and young children respond so well to this. The answers for each question are hilarious. Baah! No-o-o, this windy hill is far too high and wild for a sleepy sheepy to sleep on! The funny reasons given create smiles.  Each word adds to the joy of the story and earns its place. Metzenthen has picture book speak down pat and his word efficiency ensures that the illustrations have plenty of room to dance across each spread. The ending is satisfying and gives the reader one of those aha moments. 

Jonathan Bentley is a talented illustrator who is the second part of this picture book team. His bold colour palette of bright blue sky and green grass captures attention and has child-appeal. The Sleepy Sheep character certainly does look tired and in need of a good sleep. Much like a parent of a young child who can at times feel sleep deprived. The use of a wide blue sky gives space for the other visuals to create movement. I love the double page spread of the foxes hunting and the dingos howling. The simplicity of the illustrations really allows the characters to speak to the reader. You feel as though you are inside the story. Each place the sheep seeks is depicted vibrantly and the detailed line work helps create the world of the Sleepy Sheep simply and cleverly.

Where Will the Sleepy Sheep Sleep? is a picture book for children 3-8 years that brings together fun and bedtime. This book is a delicious read aloud for young children and it also is a great tool for a young child’s language development. It has broad appeal to young children, parents, educators, and libraries.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Buzz Words Books would love to hear what you think.