BUMMER by Peggy Huth


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A spirited lost sheep lives with several human families in this painterly debut picture book by author/illustrator Huth.

When a tiny lamb is born but cannot find her mother, she looks for another animal to take care of her. Miss Boots finds the lamb, whom she calls Bummer (the term for a lost lamb), among her goats. Unable to rescue the lamb herself, she enlists her neighbor boy Kinder to take the lamb home. There, Bummer finds a family among the chickens, Kinder and his mother until she grows up and discovers a nearby vineyard. A third family takes on the sheep, and while Bummer has trouble fitting in with the older sheep, she’s ready to befriend all the new arrivals. Proud of her wool, Bummer avoids the shearing station, but eventually, she realizes that she’s better off without her heavy wool in the warm weather. More a series of vignettes than a single story, this picture book meanders through Bummer’s experiences without delving into any of them. Bummer doesn’t develop enough as a character to be considered a hero, and the humans are too tangentially present to play that role. The sheep’s lesson in making friends or in not being afraid to be sheared might resonate with young readers, but with such a brief telling, children might instead focus on the painterly illustrations. The detail in the paintings is uneven; some are more abstract, and some are like sketches. Huth is at her best depicting Bummer among other farm animals, and the chickens are particularly convincing. The only diversity among the human characters is age, which may be because the tale is based on a true story. Lap readers may enjoy this quiet book or invent further adventures for Bummer on their own, creating details where the book leaves them out.

A cute collection of surface-level vignettes about a little lost sheep who finds love.

ISBN: 978-0-916754-35-8
Page count: 32pp
Publisher: Filsinger & Company, Ltd.
Program: Kirkus Indie
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