Think writing children’s books is easy? The story behind ‘Where is the Green Sheep?’

where is the green sheep

“After twenty one years of writing for children, I’ve come to appreciate that the books young children like best fall broadly into two categories: either short books with a pattern, based on rhyme, rhythm or repetition; or short books with a really good story. They don’t like nostalgia books. They don’t like first person books. And they don’t like long books. Stories, or patterns: that’s it.” ~ Mem Fox

She should know – Australian author Mem Fox has written some of my favourite children’s books.  Let’s Count Goats, Ten Little Fingers and Ten Little Toes, Time For Bed, Yoo Hoo Ladybird!, Possum Magic  – the list goes on.  Many of these titles are regular go-to gifts when I need to buy a gift for a baby shower, baby or toddler.


meem fox collage


In my eyes, Mem is an Australian living treasure. Her books have encouraged my toddler tornadoes love of reading and I never tire of reading her books again and again.

Our favourite is the hugely popular ‘Where is the Green Sheep?’

If you think writing a 190 word children’s book is a simple process, Mem’s explanation of the creation of the book is a hilarious insight into how tough writing for kids really is.  She calls writing picture books “hell on earth”.

Read all about the “gossip behind Where is the Green Sheep” on Mem’s blog here. It’s a wonderful read.

After reading this story behind the story, I have an even greater appreciation for children’s picture book authors.

Now, where IS that green sheep?……

Which is your favourite Mem Fox book?

Do you have a favourite book you like to give as a gift to a baby or toddler?

For more great children’s book gift ideas, check out the Gift Grapevine Pinterest boards

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