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Farmer Brown Fans

Farmer Brown Shears His Sheep

Farmer Brown Shears His Sheep
written by Teri Sloat, illustrated by Nadine Bernard Westcott
DK Publishing, 2000

Available in paperback from Dorling Kindersley!

• Junior Library Guild Selection
• Texas State Reading List


Horn Book: …the book is distinguished by the energy and humor of the illustrations and the charm of the rhyming text…and is also informative on the process: raw wool to finished cardigans, complete with buttons.

School Library Journal: Bouncy verse takes readers right into a common rural scene…meanwhile, the silly illustrations hint at a story that is anything but ordinary. The consistently cheerful and unstained rhyme spins a great yarn, and at the same time pleasantly conveys facts about wool processing. Pair this lighthearted romp with this creative team's Farmer Brown Goes Round and Round and The Thing That Bothered Farmer Brown.

Amazon: The third in the Farmer Brown series…this "yarn about wool" is as charmingly silly as its predecessors. His magnanimous solution to the sheep's situation teaches a perfectly palatable lesson in thoughtfulness. Nadine Bernard Westcott's stubbly-chinned Farmer Brown and rosy-bottomed sheep are positively huggable.

About the Book

The first two Farmer Brown books were to tease my husband Bob, but the last book was to say how much I admire the fact that whatever needs to be done, he will do it. When we lived in Alaska, he sewed his own fishing pole holders and mended his clothing, so even though this book is about sheep, it is really about the farmer being willing to solve a problem and make his animals comfortable.

Writing about sheep is easy if you live in Sonoma County. We are surrounded by them, and there are lots of weaving and spinning clubs. You can make every color of yarn from natural things that grow here.

Teacher Activities

  • Have each student bring something to school made of wool. If you can find a donor, compare the finished item to the dirty wool off a sheep's back.
  • Follow sheep through the year on a mural—have each group decide what happens to the wool in the summer, fall and winter while it is dry and dusty, rainy, snowing, muddy, leaves are falling, etc. As a follow-up, have students make their own stories about a sheep that tries to stay clean.
  • Use this book with other ones about sheep and wool: Anna's New Coat, for example, by Anita Lobel.
  • Farmer Brown has to shear his sheep at the same time every year. Make a calendar that shows something he does in the same month of each year.
  • How many corny jokes can you make using sheep words, such as ewe, ram, sheep, lamb, wool, yarn, baaa and other? It's easier to come up with the answer first.

         example: B-a-a-a-nquet

         What do you call 20 sheep all seated at the table eating a gourmet?
         A b-a-a-a-nquet.



© Teri Sloat 2006