“I’m not really tired / I can’t fall asleep / I think I need help / From my friends, Sleepy Sheep!” Sheep have been sleep-makers for all time, so it is fitting that they do so for children in a silly, yet educational way. Zuckerman’s Colorful Sleepy Sheep entertains preschoolers as they learn colors and laugh their way through the book, in preparation for bedtime. Rhythmic phrases are easy for young ones to understand: “Please say hello to sheep fireman Ted. He’s driving an engine that’s shiny and red!” Eleven colors are introduced to children—from purple to chartreuse—by animated characters and sheep with endearing, silly grins. The accompanying CD features the author’s clear, lively voice reading the story with comical sound effects. The piano symphony, played on black and white keys, clanging of the fire bell, revving of the red tractor, and squawking from the blue parrot will hold everyone’s attention. Children will giggle at the end of each page, as the turn signal is the bleating of a sheep. A goodnight surprise, reminiscent of The Waltons, at the end of the musical version adds a note of amusement.
Writing children’s books seems natural for Zuckerman, who in the 1990s hosted her own television show for children, Rory’s Place, on the Learning Channel. She has traveled extensively, performing children’s concerts and was featured on the Disney Channel, the Today show, Entertainment Tonight, CNN, and Nickelodeon.
A graduate of Brigham Young University, Maryn Roos has illustrated comic and children’s books, and her interest in multimedia led her to develop interactive games and create educational software. Her pencil sketches combined with technology provide illustrations that vibrantly complement the text in this book. The characters exhibit whimsical and animated qualities. Her other illustrated works include Ava, The One and Only, and My Nasty Backpack.
Additional books in the Sleepy Sheep series include Counting Sleepy Sheep, Shapely Sleepy Sheep, and Alphabetical Sleepy Sheep. They are filled with rhyme, rhythm, and repetition, necessary components as little ones have fun acquiring basic skills. Sheep Farmer Jean, on her tractor of green, and her colorful sheep friends, will quickly become bedtime favorites.