Monday, March 19, 2012

Fitting Knitting! Little Lamb, Have You Any Wool? by Isabel Martins

"Little Lamb, little lamb
have you any wool?

My fingers are as icy as little icicles.
My toes are just like little snowballs."

Who is warm and snug in winter? A woolly lamb, of course!

This boy has knitting needles and chilly fingers and toes.

His sheep has fine coat of fleece.

It seems somebody is about to be shorn.

"Little friend, if you're that cold,
I will let you take my wool and
you can knit it all up."

With that altruistic offer, our little lad is keen to get knitting, and once the deal is done, it's not long before a cozy cap, a fleecy scarf, and a cuddly coat spiral from his nimble needles. He's as toasty as a toad in a hole.

But shearer's remorse soon sets in. Now he notices that his lamb looks a little chilly in the frosty breezes.

What to do? Well, he's got yards of yarn and nifty knitting knowledge, and soon boy and sheep are both sporting the latest in woolen winter wear!

Isabel Martins' just published Little Lamb, Have You Any Wool? (Owlkids Books, 2012), cheerily illustrated by Yara Kono, is a fanciful look at woolen goods in her freeform take-off on the well-known nursery rhyme "Baa Baa Black Sheep," with her apt adaptation of the old adage, revised to read "shear and share alike." Ranch-raised or sheep-smart kids may be moved to point out that sheep are always sheared in spring and have put on plenty of wool by the following fall, which gives the teacher or adult reader an opening for a short disposition on literary license here! Realities of the wool industry aside, this book is an imaginative way to think about how we get our warm winter duds and whom we ought to thank for them. Pair this one with Tomie de Paola's classic tale of woolmongering, Charlie Needs a Cloak for some storytime fun with fleece.

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