Welcome to one of the February 3rd review & guest post stops on the blog tour for Mia and Nattie: One Great Team! by Marlene M. Bell and illustrated by Grace Sandford, tour organized by iRead Book Tours. Be sure to follow the rest of the tour for more spotlights, reviews, guest posts with the author, and a giveaway! (More on that at the end of this post.)
I’ll let Marlene take it away with her portion first, and then I’ll be back with more info, my review, and that giveaway.
The Sheep Lady
They call me The Sheep Lady since these woolie creatures are the focal point in every artistic endeavor I’ve undertaken. As a writer, artist, photographer and mail-order entrepreneur who creates the magic on paper and canvas, it was tiny Natalie who has made the biggest impact on my daily routine. There’s something about quietly sitting in a paddock of lambs, and the stresses of the moment disappear. Natalie lifted my spirits.
I found her one frosty night during a barn check of the ewes, where newborn Natalie lie in the dirt, folded like an accordion, her eyes closed. The sinking feeling that went through me hurt deeply. A tiny lamb without her mom didn’t have a chance alone in freezing temperatures. Her mother arrived from nearby, and it was clear that she had no milk, so I clutched the lamb to my coat, expecting to find her lifeless. Instead, she picked her head up and baa’d at me, letting me know that she was very much alive. We hadn’t raised a lamb indoors in thirty years with sheep, but if the three-pound lamb were to make it, care and feeding in warm temperatures was her only option.
My husband shook his head when he spotted the mini lamb on a towel in our laundry room that morning. He reminded me that lambs that size rarely survived, but I felt strangely optimistic because of her unusual will to live. During the following weeks, Natalie thrived and soon became part of our family outdoors (for thirteen years.)
In 2020, I wrote and published Mia and Nattie: One Great Team. A book to memorialize the terrific little sheep who had earned her forever place on the Ewephoric Ranch. Since Natalie was too small to have lambs of her own, and the larger adult sheep in the pasture muscled her away from the hay at feeding time, we allowed her to roam the house perimeter freely, giving companionship to elderly ewes and bottle lambs each season.
An Amazon reviewer opines, “Mia and Nattie: One Great Team shows how we’re all united in love, and our ability to give and receive it, no matter our differences.”
Mia and Nattie may be autographed with the option to add a Nattie plushie, only at my websites: https://www.marlenembell.com and https://www.texassheep.com. A catalogue of books and gifts are found there.
– Marlene M. Bell
About the Book
Please note that this post contains affiliate links, which means there is no additional cost to you if you shop using my links, but I will earn a small percentage in commission. A program-specific disclaimer is at the bottom of this post.
Mia and Nattie: One Great Team!
by Marlene M. Bell
Published 3 October 2020
Illustrated by Grace Sandford
Genre: Children’s Fiction, Picture Book
Page Count: 32
Add it to your Goodreads TBR!
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. 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. 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.
My Rating: 4 Stars
Consider “liking” my review on Goodreads.
I was graciously sent a review copy of Mia and Nattie: One Great Team! by Marlene M. Bell in exchange for an honest review through iRead Book Tours. Thank you Marlene and iRead! This has not swayed my opinion; my thoughts are my own and my review is honest.
Mia and Nattie is the story of a young girl named Mia and the tiny, orphaned lamb she finds and raises, Nattie. As Nattie grows, Mia’s grandmother insists that a small and not perfectly formed ewe doesn’t serve a purpose on their working farm and that Nattie should find a new home, but Mia is determined to prove Nattie’s worth and show her grandmother that although Nattie won’t be a mother and provide them with new little lambs, she can most certainly do valuable things for the farm. What are those things? Read to find out!
This story is absolutely adorable, and so are the illustrations that go with them. My favourite illustration is definitely baby Nattie surrounded by foliage doodles on page 4. My heart is melting!
This is a great little book that can be used to teach kids to accept differences, theirs or others, and to show them that everyone has value. Not everyone can do the same things in the same way, but everyone has something to offer and no one should be overlooked.
I loved the page at the back telling the story of the real miracle ewe that inspired the story, Natlie, complete with an adorable photo of the sheep peeking out from behind a tree.
I will definitely be recommending this book to my mother and sister, both primary school teachers, and I foresee reading this one to my daughter countless times in the near future!
PS. My daughter had already gone to bed when I prepared this review and the tour stop, but my cats were only too happy to help get a photo of the book!
About the Author
Marlene M. Bell is an award-winning writer, artist, and crazy sheep lady who resides in beautiful East Texas. Her renown sheep photographs grace the covers of many livestock magazines where she also writes newsy articles about raising sheep from her hands-on experience. Marlene offers the first of her children’s picture books, Mia and Nattie: One Great Team which is based on true events from the Bell’s ranch. It’s a touching story of compassion and love between a little girl and her lamb. Marlene shares her life with her husband and dreadfully spoiled horned Dorset sheep: a large Maremma guard dog named Tia, and cats, Hollywood, Leo, and Squeaks. The cats believe they rule the household—and do.
Don’t forget to visit other stops on the tour! The scheduled can be found here. There is a giveaway for this tour with a prize pack that includes:
– One Autographed Mia and Nattie picture book
– One Nattie Plushie
– One Boo Boo Ball ™
– $50 Amazon Gift Card
The giveaway closes on 12 February 2021 and is open to USA only.
Disclaimer: As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.