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TEN LITTLE LAMBS by Alice B. McGinty

TEN LITTLE LAMBS

By Alice B. McGinty (Author) , Melissa Sweet (Illustrator)

Age Range: 4 - 6

Pub Date: May 1st, 2001
ISBN: 0-8037-2596-5
Publisher: Dial

In her debut picture book, McGinty depicts a slumber party that takes a sleepless turn in a comical counting rhyme. “Good night, little lambs. / Go to sleep,” says the mother to the children tucked in bed and counting sheep. The rumpus begins when she leaves: “Ten little lambs who won’t go to sleep. / What will they do all night? / They’ll tackle and tumble, and wrestle and rumble. / Ten little lambs all night.” Rendered in soft pastel hues, Sweet’s (The Sky’s the Limit, p. 266, etc.) busy watercolor and colored-pencil illustrations depict the children (who have turned into lambs) laughing, bouncing, and swinging from the bedpost in a raucous pillow fight. Encouraging participation, McGinty’s text remains essentially unchanged as the story counts down, except for the description of the lamb’s activity. To wit, “Six little lambs who won’t go to sleep. / What will they do all night? / They’ll plow winding freeways through piles of pj’s. / Six little lambs all night.” Sweet adds an important element to the narrative by placing the additional sleeping lambs in circles across the bottom of the page. The formula presents many mathematical possibilities, including comparing the number of lambs asleep and awake and calculating different combinations that total 10. It all adds up to good fun. And as a bonus, little ones who’ve yet to experience the irony of the slumber party will get solid training in the stay-awake-at-all-costs ritual. (Picture book. 4-6)