Over the years, our kindergarten units have been switched around and we’re doing farm later and later. So here it is May, and I just got to The Lamb Who Came for Dinner last week. The illustrations are charming and bright, and definitely appealing for the age group. It’s a newish book for me; this is my second year reading it aloud to my class.
But it’s a winner, starting from predicting what will happen in the story based on the title and cover (“Oh no! The wolf’s going to eat him!”) to the denouement, where everything you thought you knew has been turned upside down.
Enter Sue. (Or Stew, as the wolf calls her initially.) She’s a little lost lamb who finds her way to the wolf’s house in the middle of a snowstorm. Wolf, who has just groused about eating vegetable soup again and wishes for lamb, gets his heart’s desire and ushers her in. She’s frozen and defrosts by the fire while the wolf checks out recipes.
She gets the hiccups. He can’t eat a dinner with hiccups–he might get them himself. After several tries to get rid of her hiccups, he settles for snuggling her close and patting her back.
The old wolf argues with himself and is just about to eat her all at once, when the little lamb does the unthinkable.
She kisses him.
The wolf now has a moral quandary. How can he eat a dinner that has kissed him?
Well, he can’t! And she’s not safe here with him.
Out she goes, back into the snowstorm, this time with a warm sweater provided by the wolf. And it should have been good, except now the wolf is worried about Sue. It’s dark. It’s very cold. And something might eat her.
Off he goes to try and find her, but after a long fruitless search, returns home. Luckily Sue is already inside, and once the wolf admits he can’t eat a lamb who needs him (because he might get heartburn) it’s all happy ever after.
How much did this year’s class enjoy the book?
Enough to demand an immediate reread.
And that’s enough to make me wholeheartedly recommend it to you. You can certainly discuss Wolf’s very believable change of heart and do a compare and contrast with another wolf story–The Big Bad Wolf is Good.