Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Book #346: Sheep in a Jeep by Nancy Shaw, Illustrated by Margot Apple

Image from NancyShawBooks.com
Five sheep pile into a jeep and take off on an adventure that leads them to a hill that’s steep. So steep that the sheep have to get out of the jeep and push! And when they roll down the other side the jeep gets stuck in gooey mud. But luckily their sheepy yelps bring piggy help and soon the jeep are on the road again. Unfortunately, the sheep are having so much fun that they forget to steer and the jeep ends up in a heap. “Jeep for sale – cheap.”

The short, rhyming text of this hilarious ovine romp is playful and will appeal to babies through lower elementary school kids. It’s also a bit of a tongue twister for reading aloud. The text is printed in large, black font against the white of the page for easy reading. The color pencil illustrations further the humorous tone of the story. The white sheep are easy to pick out against the light blue sky, wavy green grass, and the bright red jeep. The sheep are silly and foolish and this is evident in their appearance, as well as their actions. The sheep driver wears a floppy brown hat and the sheep with one earring can be seen knitting while waiting for the jeep to arrive.

Use this story to highlight phonological awareness, one of the six early literacy skills. Phonological awareness is the ability to hear and manipulate the smaller sounds in a word. This includes syllables, as well as the sounds of individual letters. Before you read the book, show the cover and discuss the title. Ask the kids to repeat the title with you. Which two words in the title rhyme?

This book is short, so you can easily read it multiple times in one storytime/unit or over the course of several sessions. If you’re reading the book with preschool or kindergarteners read it once through for fun, then read it a second time and stop to make a rhyme chart, as Amanda Post suggests on A to Z Teacher Stuff. Follow up by crafting some rhyming sheep with paper and cotton or some red jeeps complete with sheep.

You can also use this book as part of a sheep themed storytime. Try pairing it with titles such as, Where is the Green Sheep?, Another Brother or One More Sheep.

If you can’t wait to take another rhyming adventure with the carefree (and careless) sheep, check out the other books by Shaw that feature the sheep.


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