The Sheep Over cover

    Farmer John visits Chamberlin School December 17

    Children’s author and local farmer, John Churchman, came to give a presentation to 35-second graders on December 17, along with, Laddie, his sheep dog.  Chamberlin School was very fortunate to have this wonderful opportunity!

    Laddie and students

    John Churchman is a farmer who lives in Essex, Vermont.  He is also a photographer.  John  began writing his book about his lamb, Sweet Pea, when she was quite ill.  Sweet Pea was an orphaned lamb who was bottle fed.  Laddie is his border collie who herds all the sheep at the farm.  

    John Churchman and Laddie

    John self published the book, Sweet Pea and Friends The SheepOver this past summer.  The inspiration for this book all began when Sweet Pea had a temperature and was not feeling very well.  Laddie tried to inform John that something was wrong and not quite right with Sweet Pea.  John called upon his local veterinarian, Allison, who came over and prescribed medication for Sweet Pea’s infection.  The rest is history as John Churchman took his small idea of Sweet Pea’s illness and turned it into a very engaging beautiful children’s picture book.  

    John Churchman reads to students

    On the farm in Essex, Vermont, John has 18 sheep, 4 dogs, 3 geese, 15 ducks, 60 chickens, 1 horse and 6 turkeys.  His daily schedule begins at 6:00 a.m., when he feeds the dogs and begins all his farm chores stacking wood and feeding all the animals.  He also shears the sheep and sells the wool.

    Now that John has successfully published Sweet Pea and Friends, he is beginning to work on a second picture book entitled The Brave and Mighty Little Finn, about another little lamb.  

     Laddie the border collie

    The second grade students learned about John’s wonderful art of storytelling as well as his life as a farmer.  It is very clear that John has a very loving and nurturing relationship with all of his animals and shares this caring through his storytelling.


    The second grade students all wanted to know what they can be doing as student authors.  

    “Write about yourself and your daily life,” exclaimed John.   At Chamberlin, students take small moments in their own lives and expand on them in their writing, just like Farmer John.  


    Thank you, John, for sharing your love of animals and storytelling with our students.  We look forward to reading about more adventures about you and your animals on the farm.