Sneaky Sheep

Chris Monroe, Carolrhoda, $16.95 (32p) ISBN 978-0-7613-5615-8
Despite the dangers they encounter, the two not-very-bright sheep in this hilarious story continue to make “some bad decisions” and are always saved by loyal sheep dog Murphy. Monroe’s (Monkey with a Tool Belt) illustrations expand the story with quirky, comical details about the sheep’s rebellious activities. “They had been known to make some bad decisions over the years,” reads the deadpan text as Rocky and Blossom are seen sunning themselves on railroad tracks, running with bulls, and playing poker with dogs in an homage to Coolidge’s series of paintings. Eager to check out a distant mountain meadow, they repeatedly sneak off—sometimes bursting through the borders of Monroe’s panels—but are always retrieved by Murphy. Rocky and Blossom’s wide googly eyes exude mischievousness, especially compared to the wedged snout of the vicious wolf who chases them to a cliff’s edge in the story’s climax. Both the text and artwork celebrate disobedience, and those looking for a cautionary tale should look elsewhere: the ending hints that some habits (especially bad ones) die hard. Luckily, the same isn’t true of Rocky and Blossom. Ages 4–8. (Sept.)
Reviewed on: 08/30/2010
Release date: 09/01/2010
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