Saturday, May 4, 2013
The Surprise is a wordless book that is aimed at children in the preschool-to-early-elementary age range. It begins with a sheep. We see her measuring her wool, shearing it off, choosing from a rainbow of dyes, and taking it to be spun by a poodle...but why? Well, that's the surprise: Sheep takes that spun wool and knits it into a lovely sweater for her giraffe friend.
This is a great story to look at together, as children try to guess what Sheep is up to. One warning: it's barely noticeable, but Poodle is smoking a cigarette; this might be explained by the book having been first published in the Netherlands. Anyway, I just see it as an opportunity to discuss smoking, if your children point it out. Otherwise, this is an offbeat, touching story about an unlikely friendship.
The Surprise is available at Amazon.com.
Written and illustrated by Sylvia van Ommen
Age range: 3-6 (Age ranges are very flexible.)