cover image Sherman the Sheep

Sherman the Sheep

Kevin Kiser. MacMillan Publishing Company, $14.95 (0pp) ISBN 978-0-02-750825-3

The woolly namesake of this droll book is considered a genius by his sheep peers--but the possibility that he may not entirely deserve that honor is the key to this tale's hilarity. On behalf of the flock, cousin Wayne implores Sherman to take them from their customary field and lead them to the best field in the valley. Behind Wayne, a grinning flock gazes expectantly Shermanward; their chosen chief tells them that it's ``a long, hard journey,'' but agrees to be their guide. Predictably enough, Sherman's destination is the very same Happy Valley Sheep Ranch from which the flock departs, but he takes quite a roundabout route. As the sheep travel over hills and rivers, they proudly sing (``We're sheep! We're sheep! We're brave and we're bold, / We go where we want / And not where we're told . . . '') and Sherman ``reads'' directions, at one point claiming that the ``Happy Valley City Dump'' advertises ``Free Food for Sheep.'' Kiser's ( The Birthday Thing ) hooved heroes, giddy from their own audaciousness, are rendered as jaunty, silly souls by Barnes-Murphy; the debut illustrator's flowing, fine-line sketches convey the sheep's enthusiasm (and their obliviousness) via a broad range of invariably funny facial expressions. Kiser and Barnes-Murphy make a winning team. Ages 5-8. (Apr.)