Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Book Review - From Sheep to Sweater


From Sheep to Sweater (Start to Finish, Second Series: Everyday Products)

By: Robin Nelson
Publisher: Twenty-First Century Books
Publication Date: January 2013
ISBN: 978-0761365648
Reviewed by: Deb Fowler
Review Date: March 2013

If you have a sweater, you might just want to know where the wool comes from and how it is made. You can see several lambs with their mother in a barn. They get their nice thick coats of wool by eating a “mixture of hay, grass, and grains.” During the winter they grow a thick coat but their coats are clipped in the spring. You can watch as a farmer shears a “sheep’s wool off in one big piece called a fleece.” Of course during the summer months it will all grow back and will be ready once again to keep it warm during the cold winter months.

Once that fleece has been removed it is sorted. You can easily see that some of it is very dark and some looks a little dirty. The workers “keep thick wool that is light in color.” After the wool is thoroughly washed, then it’s spread out on pallets to dry. A man watches carefully as “machines comb the wool to remove knots,” a process that is called carding. You will also learn how the wool is spun, you’ll get to see how it is dyed, watch a woman as she selects her yarn, see someone knitting, and get to take a look at that finished sweater!

This is a fascinating look at how wool is processed into yarn that the young reader will enjoy. Newly independent readers will be able to read this book with a bit of assistance. More difficult words such as “knitting” are highlighted in the text and defined in the glossary. There are full-color, full-page photographs illustrating the concept discussed on the adjoining page. In the back of the book is an index and a glossary. There are free complementary downloadable educational resources on the publisher’s website.

Quill says: This is an excellent read and discuss book for circle or story time in the homeschool or classroom setting.