Friday, February 20, 2015

Once a Shepherd by Glenda Millard - OPTIONAL

Millard, Glenda Once a Shepherd, PICTURE BOOK. Candlewick Press, 2014. $16.99. Content: PG. 

As a shepherd, Tom shears sheep, falls in love with and marries the woman who spins his wool, and is soon-to-be a father. As a soldier, Tom has to leave his family, march thousands of miles, and is killed while helping a wounded man. The wounded man finds Tom’s wife and makes sure to tell her about Tom’s good deed. 

This was some heavy content for a picture book. That’s not always a bad thing if it’s presented in the right way. Although there were some nice qualities to the illustrations in the book, the rhyming text seemed to miss the mark for me. It was presented very awkwardly and didn’t flow well.  The story is very realistic, but the death would definitely hit some readers very hard. There is some blood in the illustrations and the word “hell” is used once. This is a valiant attempt at broaching the serious topic of World War I and death, but the delivery falls flat.  

EL–OPTIONAL. Reviewed by: Shay, School Librarian

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