A few years ago, when I began writing stories for children, I set out to find this old book. It took me a little while because at the time, I had no idea what the title was. I finally figured it out and bought myself a copy on ebay. The book came out in 1967, but I would have only been 2 years old then, so I had to have bought a later edition in the early 70s. The book I got from ebay looks like mine did -- having seen a little wear and tear, but lots of love. I know this book can still be found online when you search for it, and it's usually a reasonable price. If you have kids, I highly recommend this book. My boys loved it. I have it sitting up on a shelf in our family room that features some other things from my childhood. The Sheep of the Lal Bagh has earned a special place on my childhood shelf for its enduring quality. That, of course, is every writer's dream and I'm sure David Mark and Lionel Kalish would be proud. Has anyone else read this book?
Wednesday, September 3, 2008
Sheep of the Lal Bagh
What sparked your interest in reading? For me, it was my mom. She was an avid reader and almost always had a thick paperback in her hands. One summer when I was pretty young, she signed me up for a book club. I got to pick out a batch of books all by myself and they were delivered over the summer. These packages were the first mail I received and I still remember the excitement of them coming in with my name. One of those books is pictured above, The Sheep of the Lal Bagh. This was a picture book about a sheep named Ramesh who worked in a garden in an Indian town. He was the town's favorite attraction. Every night Ramesh would come out and mow the lawn into beautiful shapes and designs. People came from all over to see him. Then sadly, one day he was replaced by a lawn mower. Ramesh went back up to his mountain. The children were sad because they couldn't pet a lawn mower. Finally, they set out to look for Ramesh and they returned him to his rightful place in the garden. I don't know what it was about this story that I loved so much. Maybe it was the beautiful illustrations, or maybe it was the fascination of the different geometric designs Ramesh made in the lawns, or maybe it was simply because it was my own mail. All I know is that I loved this book as a kid. It's still one of my favorite picture books.