cover image Three Bags Full

Three Bags Full

Ragnhild Scamell. Orchard Books (NY), $14.95 (0pp) ISBN 978-0-531-05486-4

Millie the sheep is a soft touch--in every sense. When Bird, Badger and Rabbit ask for a bit of her comfortable, warm wool to insulate their homes, she responds so generously that she is soon bare as a goat. Then comes a snowfall, and Millie shivers. She can't climb up to Bird's nest nor squeeze into Badger's burrow, and Rabbit's warren is too crowded. Finally Mrs. Farmer provides a haven and knits Millie a beautiful sweater. But a strand of yarn dangles, catching the eye of opportunistic Bird, and the ending here spells deja vu all over again. Scamell's serene little comedy gets first-class treatment from first-time illustrator Hobson. Using clear color fields, she paints a primitive-style landscape, with the horizons curving playfully--it's almost like entering the world of a paperweight. Simple, strong lines evoke Millie and her friends, including the Breugel-like Mrs. Farmer, while spare but effective detail gives the characters particularly vivid expressions. Altogether winning. Ages 3-6. (Mar.)