Saturday, April 29, 2017

Not Sheepish! Brave Little Finn (Sweet Pea and Friends) by John and Jennifer Churchman

One cold winter morning, a shy little lamb was born.

"We'll call you Finn," said Farmer John. He held him close, keeping him warm inside his green barn jacket.

Finn had been born early and wasn't as big and strong as the other lambs.

Growing up is hard to do, especially when you've got a lot of ground to make up to keep up with your friends. But Team Sheep Ranch goes to work, making sure Little Finn is warm and well fed, and all the flock is rooting for Finn.

Finn's big sister Sweet Pea visited him every day, even when it was windy and cold. She would put on her favorite woolly scarf and come up to the farm house to tell him all the news from the barn.

Little Finn spent his days by the fireplace and made friends with the dogs and puppies.

Finn is still shy, even when spring begins to show up outside the farm house. It's a big world out there, but Finn is done with the baby bottle and out of his baby diaper and ready to explore, with the collie Maisie Grace keeping a loving eye on him.

"Be brave, Little Finn. I will be with you," said Maisie Grace.

And when Finn meets the other lambs--Atticus, Meadow and Hayzel--they are full of questions about being raised inside the house. Then they take on the task of teaching him how to be a outdoor lamb in the flock. He visits Frog at the pond and meets the color purple in the just-blooming lilacs and the busy bees at work in the meadow. He also meets another small but intimidating creature.

"Spiders are so SCARY!" he tells Laddie the dog.

The big tractor parked in the darkest reaches of the barn looks like a crouching monster to Finn, but the most intimidating thing out in the field is a pile of hay bales, stacked up like a massive pyramid. The other lambs compete with each other to see who can climb the fastest and the highest. Little Finn wonders if he ever will be able to reach the peak of that towering mountain. But each day he gets a bit higher... until one day Little Finn is no longer timid; his now bouncy legs bound all the way to the top--and everyone, Maisie Grace, Atticus, Meadow, Hayzel, Sadie, and Laddie, and of course sister Sweat Pea, are all there to cheer.

Shy Little Finn is now strong and brave in John and Jennifer Churchover's lastest lamb story, Brave Little Finn (Sweet Pea & Friends) (Little, Brown and Company, 2016). The authors capture the truth of how really formidable it is to face the big world, whether you are a little lamb or a small child, and restate the truism that even with lots of love, you still have to do most of the work for yourself. John Churchman's homemade photographs from his farm bring out all the too-cute-for-words charm of his little lambs and the robust devotion of his shepherd dogs in this sweet story of a shy lamb's coming of age. This one will be resonant with young children who face their own mountains to climb as they grow.

John and Jennifer Churchman's other tales of life on the sheep ranch include The SheepOver (Sweet Pea & Friends) (read review here) and A Farm for Maisie (Sweet Pea & Friends).

Labels: ,


Post a Comment

<< Home