cover image Haircuts for Woolseys

Haircuts for Woolseys

Tomie dePaola. Putnam Publishing Group, $5.95 (20pp) ISBN 978-0-399-21662-6

DePaola creates two inviting, sturdy little books in a new series for younger preschoolers called The Friendly Families of Fiddle-Dee-Dee Farms. The Woolsey family (of sweetly anthropomorphized sheep) have just had their spring haircuts. However, an unexpected snow storm leaves the fields snow-covered and the three lambs shivery. Clever Granny saves the day by quickly knitting their shorn locks into new sweaters. Although the concept is appealing and well illustrated, the text is a bit too dense for the format. The more successful of the two books features the Hopkins family (of busy rabbit parents and their 15 children), who pitch in to plant the garden. But so many rabbits make a confusing mess of the radish patch. The clever mother rabbit organizes the children into teams of five, four, three, two and one. All are assigned specific, sequential tasks and, working together, they accomplish a lot. In both books, dePaola's clear paintings complement the clever storylines, making a pleasing, accessible series. Ages 2-6. (Jan.)