Levi the Lamb’s Big Day: A picture book with a green message

I recently had the opportunity to be a part of a fun eco-focused picture book project, illustrating an adorable book called Levi the Lamb’s Big Day. It tells the story of an interesting collaboration between the LG&E and KU Energy and Shaker Village, both located in the Louisville area in Kentucky. 

Levi the Lamb and Percy the Pig have a chat

As part of their green initiatives, LG&E and KU Energy has a large field of solar panels, but it poses a challenge as all solar fields must — how to keep the grass from growing out of control in the hard-to-mow areas between solar panels. Their solution was both whimsical and ingenious! They partnered with Shaker Village, a historical shaker community which was founded in 1805 and which today has 34 restored original buildings. Shaker Village also has gardens and farms, including a herd of heritage breed sheep. It’s these sheep which became integral to the solar field plan as the “natural mowers” for the field, being let into the solar field regularly to eat grass to their hearts’ content!

Levi and his heritage sheep friends
A solar field full of natural mowers

LG&E and KU Energy and Shaker Village wanted to tell the story of how these sheep, including some adorable lambs, are helping to save the planet one mouthful of grass at a time. And so Levi the Lamb’s Big Day was born, which was developed by LG&E and KU Energy’s ad agency Scoppechio, and written by writer Aaron Carter. It tells the story of a little lamb named Levi, who has heard he is going to help save the planet, but he’s not sure how. He visits all of his young barnyard friends, from Chelsea the Chick to Doris the Donkey, and asks if any of them know how he’s going to help the planet. Each animal has a guess that’s more fanciful than the last, including zip lining through the Amazon to plant trees, blasting into space to clean up the universe, and even harvesting fresh sunlight on the surface of the sun (all of which presented some super fun illustration opportunities!).

Levi blasting off into space
Imagining diving into the ocean to clean up pollution
Surfing the waves at a hydroelectric plant
Levi zip lining in the Amazon!
Harvesting fresh sunlight by the tractorful on the surface of the sun

In the end, one of the elder sheep tells Levi how he’s going to eat grass in the solar fields with all of his lamb friends, and Levi is thrilled he gets to save the planet AND chow down on delicious grass! It even includes a final spread with lots of ideas for how little ones can help our planet.

All of the animals going to wish Levi bon voyage

I loved working on this book because it has a great green message, each spread was different than the last, and it included lots of animals and plants which of course I love to draw. The folks at Scoppechio were so lovely to work with, and I think the whole team had a fun time making this book become a reality. If you’d like to order a copy, you can buy one on the Shaker Village website here, or if you’re in the Louisville area you should pay the village a visit and pick up a copy in the shop!

Thanks for reading and if you do get yourself a copy of the book, I hope you enjoy it!

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