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Ages: Preschool 3-5
Laddie, a farm dog, wakes Farmer John one night when he realizes something is amiss in the barn. Sweet Pea, the orphan lamb, has a fever from an infected leg. A doctor is called and her friends gather round as she heals. When the infection is gone she has a “sheepover” with her friends in the greenhouse to celebrate her good health.
What I enjoyed about this book is the illustrations which are vibrant and rich photographs. Your child will learn a lot of new VOCABULARY words in the text of this story. From the animals introduced, the people who help Sweet Pea get better and the enriching and rhythmical text. There are a lot of phrases that your child can repeat throughout the story, engaging them in the retelling which builds NARRATIVE, PRINT MOTIVATION, and PRINT AWARENESS skills.
The story may be a little too sweet for adults but children will enjoy the focus on friendship and gentle realistic pictures.
Questions to enrich the story:
Look through the pictures and help your child identify the different animals.
Have your child repeat the sounds each of the different animals makes.
After reading the story, go back through and ask questions to help your child comprehend the story. Who woke up Farmer John? Who was sick? Who helped Sweet Pea get better? How did the friends celebrate Sweet Pea? When was the last time you were sick? Who helped you get better?
Take it further:
Have your child image what it would be like to live on a farm. Have them draw a picture of the animals they would see, the machines they would use and who would live their with them.
Go to the library and find books on Veterinarians. Explore the profession. The different types of caregivers and what they do to help animals.
Make your own photo book like the authors! Go outside and explore your neighborhood with a camera. Take pictures and print them out. Write out a story from the pictures.