Rationale for choosing the book:
-Quality of illustrations
-Link between common situations (eg looking at the sky and
imagining forms, animism and fantasy).
-Open end of
story presented as a problem to solve, preferably through dialogue between
adult and child.
Seen through the narrator's eyes, a group of clouds in the sky seem to
become a flock of sheep which gently waft earthward and begin grazing
in a field. Suddenly, a black sheep makes its landing. What happens next? The final
words are '... And then?' Nothing is written on the last page of the book.
The author addresses parents and educators, telling them how important
fantasy is for growing up. She invites them to join children in order
to imagine together what happens next.
It happened in the early morning. The sun was about to rise and the sky
was dotted with clouds, as if it was a meadow full of little sheep.
Looking carefully at them, I found that they all had a little face, with
little eyes as well.
Almost without noticing, they started unrolling and came down slowly
as if they had parachutes.
As soon as they landed, they started eating. After all, they really were
It was the end of the story, or at least it seemed so, when suddenly
and with a lot of noise, I finally saw the black sheep coming down.
... And then?
NB This is a working translation
for educational purpose only.
for use in school:
1. Ask children to tell the story from the illustrations. Then read the
story to them in order to compare both versions.
2. Ask children to imagine what happens next and complete the story either
visually, in written form, or both.
3. Ask the children to tell the story from the point of view of the sheep
who fell from the sky, keeping the order of events and narrative of the
4. The sheep fell down into the countryside near a small village in Portugal.
Get the children to find out as much as they can about this country and
write a dialogue between two villagers who experienced the event. This
might later be recorded as a radio play.
5. Discuss similarities and differences between the two kinds of sheep.
(This might generate a debate on the right to be different, cultural differences,
Focus on possible encounters with children from another country. Which
things helped/might help you to get on well with them.
literature and language-based activities can be found in
Picture Books sans Frontières available