Gilda the Giant Sheep

Emilio Urberuaga, trans. from the Spanish by Ben Dawlatly. NubeOcho, $17.95 (44p) ISBN 978-8-41712-324-6
A dirigible-size sheep supplies the comic premise for this fable by Spanish artist Urberuaga (Carlota Wouldn’t Say Boo), published in English with new art 25 years after its European release. Gilda is an industry of her own, requiring 20 shepherds to shear and milk her. When they tire of the work and her “giant sheep ears” overhear them scheming to kill her for her meat, she takes off for the nearest metropolis. After a King Kong–style skyscraper climb (“She looked like a huge woolly cloud”) and a failed attempt to join the circus, Gilda performs a heroic rescue and enters a career suited to her big heart and even bigger size. Illustrations are in the tradition of Steinberg and Sempé, the characters captured in economical, expressive ink lines, with washed skies in various shades of blue and rose. Gilda’s misfit status (“I’m completely useless”) makes her final triumph more satisfying; there’s a place for everyone, Urberuaga argues—one just needs to find it. A Spanish edition will publish simultaneously. Ages 4–8. (Jan.)
Reviewed on: 10/08/2018
Release date: 01/01/2019
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