Nattie’s mouth was a little crooked. Her legs were a bit shorter than usual, and one horn was too straight, like a unicorn’s horn.
But Mia thought Nattie was perfect.
On a visit to her grandma’s farm, eight-year-old Mia discovers a newborn, orphaned lamb outside in the cold and takes her to the laundry room, naming her Nattie. As she tries to nurse the lamb back to health, Mia discovers that Nattie is different from the other lambs and struggles to fit in with them like Mia does with other kids her age.
When her grandmother says she will sell Nattie to a neighbor, Mia must come up with a plan to keep her friend around—one that will show the family just how special Nattie truly is.
In a read-aloud picture book for children who love animals, award-winning writer and sheep breeder Marlene M. Bell presents Nattie the lamb’s true story. MIA AND NATTIE is a heartwarming book that teaches readers about problem-solving, teamwork, and love.
Nattie the lamb looks different from the others when she is born. She has a crooked mouth, her legs are a little too short, and one of her horns points out straight instead of curling like it should. Because she was born too early, Nattie is not able to nurse like the other lambs. Luckily, Mia, the little girl on the farm, finds Nattie and brings her inside, encouraging her to drink milk from a bottle and grow. Mia and Nattie forge a tight bond, and Mia must think of a way to convince her grandmother to keep Nattie. Against all odds, Nattie finds a place for herself on the farm, even if it is an atypical one; thanks to Nattie, the other sheep have a calm, inspiring presence to buoy them when they need it.
Based on a true story, Nattie the lamb deeply impacted the lives of her humans on the farm where she was born. An introduction by the author details Nattie’s real life before the fictionalized story begins. Friendly, expressive characters are enhanced by a cheery color scheme, enhancing the positive sentiments of the author toward Nattie. Cartoon-like illustrations depict life on the farm in this intergenerational story of a young white girl and her grandmother. Even the end papers serve to engage readers by portraying Nattie in a stylized romp through a meadow in bloom.
Well-designed, the text and images are placed in such a way as to progress the story while providing visual intrigue. Mid-length text makes this story better suited to young elementary-school-aged readers with slightly longer attention spans; one page is entirely filled with text, but the story alternates between dialogue and description to keep readers’ attention. Children who enjoy reading about farms and the healing power of love will connect with Mia and Nattie and their unlikely friendship.
My career has focused on children’s literature, primarily, but I have a love for YA books, too. I began reviewing books in 2015, since which time I have had over 500 published reviews!
I primarily write reviews, but will create video reviews like this upon request: https://youtu.be/9MQx-u_NFI8