cover image Sheep Take a Hike

Sheep Take a Hike

Nancy E. Shaw. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (HMH), $15 (32pp) ISBN 978-0-395-68394-1

Shaw's anything but sheepish sheep are on the move again--this time by hoof. As with their previous misadventures ( Sheep in a Jeep ; Sheep in a Shop ), everything is just dandy at the start of their latest caper: ``Morning's here! It's warm and clear! / Sheep load up their hiking gear.'' With packs on backs, the frisky flock trots along happily until the inevitable snags occur: ``Trees and bushes soon grow thicker. / Where's the trail? Sheep bicker.'' Ears begin to droop as the woolly creatures make their way through thorns, prickers, fog and bog, and then--horrors of horrors--``The compass sinks. They're in dismay. / How can they ever find their way?'' Of course, the ever-resourceful sheep manage to do just that--despite a final drenching rainfall. Though the antics will bring on chuckles, this latest effort lacks the comic fullness and laugh-out-loud visuals found in the best of Shaw and Apple's collaborations. Still, the light verse is as snappy as ever, and Apple's art contains her trademark details--including the dapper sheep's millinery and their delightfully emotive facial expressions. Ages 2-5. (Sept.)