If last week’s Christmassy What We’re Reading was all about the snow, the tinsel, the sparkle and everything else that you were unlikely to find in Bethlehem a couple of millennia ago, this week’s story comes back much nearer to the original Christmas. It’s also a lovely alternative board book to the seemingly endless varieties of “That’s Not My …” (And there really are only so many of those that any one parent should be asked to encounter).
But Ten Little Sheep isn’t simply a retelling of the nativity, this is the story of the shepherd boy, a boy sat up on the cold mountain one night taking care of his sheep.
He gathers them all up for the night and they all cosy in together, one little, two little, three little, four little, five little, six little, seven little, eight little, nine little, ten little sheep, who all say baa, when suddenly they’re almost blinding by a bright heavenly light and the angel appears to tell them the news as it happens in a stable in Bethlehem.
The essential plot points are very familiar, but they’re told with such a sweetness, and always with reference to the flock, that it’s been an easy book to fall in love with.
I love the illustrations too, they’re not cheesy cartoon like and there’s so much detail, especially in all of the sheep. And more than once I’ve spotted Miss Elma sat turning the pages in her lap to look at her sheep, even when there aren’t any parents around to read the words to match.
But it’s the patter of the story that makes it such a treasure, the continual counting up of the sheep and their ten baaas give a lovely repetition that’s great for holding the attention of the littler members of the family who just can’t manage to sit through some of the longer versions of the Christmas story
And even if you’re a bit more grown up, there is something very appealing about “Baa baa baa baa baa baa baa baa baa baa!”
And it seems we’ve all gone Christmassy! Last week Vickie’s family were enjoying the Magical Christmas Tales Treasury which looks fabulous even if it sadly does seem to be missing her daughter’s favourites “Jangle Bells” and “Yeti Go!” and Jess is starting her daughter’s Christmas traditions with wonderful tales of the Classic Treasury Christmas Stories
And if you have a favourite, or just something fun your little or not so little ones have enjoyed reading lately please do join us. Alternatively if you’re after ideas for Christmas presents, I’m going to suggest the What We’re Reading Booklist, for a few ideas; it has every book anyone has ever recommended on it and is therefore very dangerous to my credit card!
The linky is always open for the whole week so there’s plenty of time. And so, without further ado, it’s over to you to tell me what we should be reading!