BAA BAA SMART SHEEP
by Mark and Rowan Sommerset / Dreamboat Books
ages 4 to grown-up / coffee table, funny
This hilarious book comes from a husband and wife team from New Zealand and in NZ they know a thing or two about sheep. The cover has a warning label: ‘Contains Mischief’. It sure does!
Now sheep are not known as the smartest animals, but turkeys probably rank even lower. (Trust me—we’ve had turkeys quite a few times and they really are dumb.)
In this cartoon-style story, Little Baa Baa tricks Quirky Turkey into eating what he describes as smart tablets.
They’re really sheep poo of course, but Turkey falls for it just the same.
The whole book is terribly well drawn and the expressions on the turkey's and sheep's faces add to the dialogue.
Books about poo are a mainstay of children’s stories—with good reason. It’s endlessly fascinating to kids and especially to boys (well, I’m not completely sure they ever really grow out of that.) But there are good developmental reasons to share books like this too. Fascination with bodily functions needs to be addressed, informed, acknowledged and dealt with—preferably with some degree of humour.
And then there’s the notion of embarrassment. Everyone is embarrassed at some point—usually it’s a very uncomfortable feeling leading on to lots of other feelings like inadequacy, unworthiness and so on. By reading books that are a little embarrassing (like poo books or bottom books), children can add secondary emotions that are far more positive to embarrassment. Things like laughter, shared jokes, and recovery from embarrassment flow easily from books like this.
I highly recommend this one—we left ours on the coffee table for a month or so and absolutely everyone who read it laughed out loud.