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Woolburby Leslie Helakoski and Lee Harper
Synopses & Reviews
Woolbur's list of Do's and Don'ts:
DO march to your own beat;
DON'T worry when Maa and Paa tell you to stay with the herd!
DO be bold and brave;
DON'T be afraid to BE YOURSELF!
Woolbur is not like other sheep. He hangs out with wild dogs, cards his own wool to avoid the shearing barn, and even dyes his wool blue. "Don't worry!" says Grandpaa when Maa and Paa fret that Woolbur is different. But when they tell their son to follow the flock, the opposite happens — the flock follows him! Soon everyone is copying his wild hairstyles and taking turns on the spinning wheel. Leave it to Woolbur to find a new way to step ahead of the herd. Spunky, funky, and refreshingly distinct, Woolbur will strike a chord with anyone who's ever felt different. And that's all of us!
"In a fresh variation on the theme of marching to the beat of a different drummer, Helakoski (Big Chickens Fly the Coop, see Notes, below) presents Woolbur, a lamb with unique ideas. A series of linguistically similar episodes takes children through the process of how a sheep's wool is shorn, carded, spun, dyed and woven to make cloth — and at each step Woolbur demurs. 'I don't want to shear [or card or spin] my wool,' he says, and after his parents give him a reason they think he can't refute, he repeats the line, 'I know... isn't it great?' Debut artist Harper's quirky illustrations picture Maa and Paa pulling their wool (instead of their hair) every night as Woolbur's Grandpaa advises them to relax. By story's end all the other lambs copy Woolbur — carding their own wool and experimenting with color — until his dumbfounded parents fret that they won't be able to find their distinctive son. Grandpaa says, 'Don't worry,' and the reader sees Woolbur inventing knitting. Harper meets the challenge of conceiving new ways to illustrate the patterned repetitions of the story, even if his characters are sometimes static, while Helakoski capitalizes on Woolbur's enthusiasm despite the predictable outcomes of the similar scenes. Children will relish Woolbur's ability to pull the wool over his parents' objections. Ages 3-6." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
He runs with dogs. He cards his own wool. He rides the spinning wheel. And he never follows the flock. If you are a free spirit, this book is for you!
About the Author
Leslie Helakoski is the author of The Smushy Bus and Big Chickens, a Junior Library Guild selection. Born and raised near New Orleans, Leslie Helakoski received a degree in advertising from the University of Louisiana and one in illustration from Northern Michigan University. She now lives in Lawton, Michigan, with her family.
Lee Harper is a painter and sculptor who exhibits at galleries nationwide. This is his first picture book. He lives in Doylestown, Pennsylvania, with his family.
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