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Smudge, the Little Lost Lamb by James Herriot

May 25, 2012

Children’s Book Review: Smudge, the Little Lost Lamb by James Herriot

Children's book Smudge Little Lost LambIf your kids like stories about farm life and farm animals, this is a simple, wholesome story for young readers grades 1-3, or as a read aloud for preschoolers.

Harry gets up early to help his father with the lambing. As a reward, his father offers him one of the little twin lambs he has helped bring into the world.  Harry names him Smudge because of the funny white mark on his nose.

Some lambs are just determined to test the boundaries. When the flock goes out to pasture, little Smudge truly has a case of “the grass is greener on the other side” and slips through the wire fence to wander away from the flock.  He keeps the flock in site as he explores the new territory and enjoys his daring adventure, but when he wants to return to his mother, he cannot find a way back through the fence. A large dog appears and the scared  Smudge runs with fright down the road.

After that it seems  Smudge has one frightful encounter after another; each serving to drive him further from home and make him very tired. A typical spring blizzard finally causes Smudge to lie down and sleep as the snow begins to cover him.

The story continues as a little girl finds Smudge and nurses him back to health. She initially thinks Smudge is dead, but a little warmth soon brings him around, and in the end, Smudge is returned  home to Harry.

One of the things I like about this book – as with all James Herriot books- is that the story is factual. If you have ever raised sheep, you know there is nothing false about this story.

The illustrations by Ruth Brown are soft and picturesque, but still detailed and realistic. I think they would be very appealing to children.

I can’t think of any Flags.

3 Comments leave one →
  1. August 21, 2012 8:28 PM

    I like that everything is factual. I’m sure reading the story with your children, you could ask them questions that would provoke some thinking about how this story is a parable for their own spiritual lives. Is there anything like that pointed out within the actual text?

    • August 24, 2012 11:50 AM

      No, Mr. Herriot doesn’t really cross that bridge in the narrative, but it’s an easy and natural transition into talking at least about how the Bible uses sheep and shepherd as a metaphor for the Lord’s care for us.

      Thanks for stopping by and commenting!


  1. James Herriot’s Treasury for Children « Loyal Books Blog

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