The Lamb Who Came for Dinner is a laugh-aloud favourite for our children. I was delighted to discover it in a local library so I could photograph it and share it as part of the DFF book club.

The DFF Book Club

The lamb who came for dinner by Steve Smallman
This book is the winner and finalist in three different children's book awards in Britain.

This is not normally the type of book I choose for the DFF book club. The characters are unoriginal, the illustrations are ordinary and the yet … it’s unpredictable and the moral is inline with the philosophies we want to model for our children. Plus, this can be a really fun book to read aloud (more on that later).

The lamb who came for dinner by Steve Smallman
"You're just in time for dinner!" sniggered the old wolf.

French illustrator Joelle Dreidemy has a wonderful portfolio of exciting illustrations. I don’t think this book is her best work, however.

The lamb who came for dinner by Steve Smallman
After the lamb is in his house, the wolf starts looking in his recipe book for meal ideas.

British author Steve Smallman creates a big, bad wolf. We aren’t supposed be under any illusions that this character likes lamb — for dinner.

The lamb who came for dinner by Steve Smallman
But an unfamiliar feeling starts overwriting the hunger pangs. What's an old wolf to do when he receives an innocent cuddle from the lamb?

The lamb who came for dinner by Steve Smallman
And then a kiss? "That's not fair!" roars the wolf.

The wolf discovers that he is starting to feel affection for his tasty-smelling visitor, so in an attempt at lamb-preservation, he sends the lamb away.

The lamb who came for dinner by Steve Smallman
The wolf kicks the lamb out of his house and refuses to open the door to her pleas.

Once the lamb is outside, the wolf starts to imagine all the dangers that await a succulent lamb in the deep, dark woods. His concern leads him to go searching for the lamb. The reunion is predictable but no less delightful.

The lamb who came for dinner by Steve Smallman
There's a happy reunion in the end.

This is the moral that I want our kids to internalise: love conquers all. Even a bloodthirsty predator can be won over with genuine compassion. What a great message for children to hear!

Now here’s the real reason that I wanted to feature this book. I heard it read by none other than Meatloaf, and the entertainer does such a good job of telling the story, that you’ll fall in love with this book (and perhaps Meatloaf) too!

So many times I read books merely to get to the end of the pile that is brought to me. But Meatloaf shows how reading a picture book aloud can be so much fun! All bored librarians who are reluctantly rostered for story-time should watch this and see how pleasurable kids’ stories can be.

If you want your own copy, The Lamb Who Came for Dinner is available on Book Depository and Amazon.