Book Reviews Picture Books

2 x 2 (by 2): The Woods and No Sleep for the Sheep!

I kind of get the sense that no one except me cares about these 2 x 2 posts, but I carry on! It’s been a fun little project for Ella and me, and has introduced us to a whole slew of new titles and authors I don’t think we would have found otherwise.

Also, I think each year’s list gets a little bit better. So far I’ve been really impressed with the 2012 list.

The Woods is a great little bedtime story without being eye-rollingly saccharine.

The little boy has lost his bunny that he always sleeps with, so he ventures into the “woods” to find them (there’s no mention of what the woods really are, but probably just his closet or under the bed).

He runs into various creatures in the woods who seem terrifying until he learns they are just bored or scared of the dark or lonely and together they find the bunny. At the end, you realize all the creatures are his other stuffed animals.

Reminds me a tiny bit of Where the Wild Things Are, but way less terrifying.

I picked up No Sleep for the Sheep! on the hold shelf at the library and then read it aloud to Ella in the kid’s section. Halfway through, as I turned a page, a mom, sitting nearby with her 5 and 8 year olds, said “We are all sitting here GRIPPED!” (I was very flattered).

And then, when Ella begged to read it a second and then third time, those same kids sat through it twice more. I was shocked.

This book has a really strong rhythm to it, which makes it amazingly fun to read out loud and the animal sounds make for great sound effects. This is just a fantastic read-aloud book. 

The illustrations on this one are hilarious, too, and I love looking at the funny expressions on the animals faces, especially the poor, exhausted sheep.

Bart says this is one of his very favorite picture books of all time. 

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  • Reply Nicky October 30, 2012 at 1:08 pm

    I enjoy all your book suggestions! Sadly, these two are not available at my library here if Florida. I enjoy your blog very much!

  • Reply Jennifer Lee October 30, 2012 at 3:15 pm

    Oh, I care about these posts. After your reviews I always check the books out from the library, and generally my boys love the same books that Ella does.

  • Reply debby October 30, 2012 at 3:33 pm

    we love them too and usually put a couple books on hold after you post about them. keep them up.

  • Reply Noelle October 30, 2012 at 3:45 pm

    Jacob LOVES The Woods. He has ta thing for spooky forests and scary animals….

  • Reply Jessie October 30, 2012 at 7:59 pm

    I care about these posts! Except I have the same problem…our little library carries very few of the books you recommend 🙁 Something needs to be done about that! I'm sure my kids would love No sleep for sheep! We love Karen Beaumont!

  • Reply Lindsay October 31, 2012 at 5:34 am

    Thanks for these suggestions! I don't have kids yet, but I already collect picture books for them. I'll have to read these. 🙂

  • Reply emmaco October 31, 2012 at 10:20 am

    I am emerging from lurkerdom to say I appreciate these posts! I keep a list of your picture book recommendations for my niece and other small children I know. So thank-you 🙂

  • Reply Lady Susan November 1, 2012 at 1:14 am

    Well, I love these posts. We really enjoyed No Sleep for Sheep. Finn really liked being able to see which animal was about to show up. We will have to check out The Woods since that is one we haven't read.

  • Reply Peaceful Reader November 1, 2012 at 3:25 am

    I love Karen Beaumont but don't have this title in the library. Will have to fix that as I love to read silly books aloud!

  • Reply C November 1, 2012 at 8:10 pm

    I love these posts! I've added several books to my daughter's amazon wishlist or put them on hold at the library (including both of these!) after reading your 2×2 posts 🙂 keep them up, they are great!

  • Reply Jenna Hatfield November 3, 2012 at 1:30 pm

    I'm a newer reader, so I didn't know about the 2×2. Going to check it out!

  • Reply Shannon November 5, 2012 at 3:41 am

    I don't know what your 2×2 posts are for sure, but I have already reserved these two at my library. I have a read aloud blog ( that also includes activities for the books, so I am always looking for another great book! Thanks for sharing your research!

  • Reply JoLee November 6, 2012 at 1:48 am

    I like the 2×2 posts. We've picked up a couple of the books you reviewed at the library. It's nice to get some good recommendations for pictures books so that I am not forced to read another Thomas book or THE LITTLE ENGINE THAT COULD (shudder) over and over again.

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