Monday, May 28, 2012

Picture Book Monday - A review of The Great Sheep Shenanigans




In the real world, the bad guys, or "baddies" as I used to call them when I was a kid, win a lot of the time. It is very depressing. Thankfully, in books baddies often get their just desserts, thank goodness.

In today's picture book, you are going to meet an honest to goodness bad wolf who is determined to catch himself a lamb dinner. He thinks he is clever, and comes up with one scheme after another to get what he wants, with hilarious results.

The Great Sheep Shenanigans
The Great Sheep ShenanigansPeter Bently
Illustrated by Mei Matsuoka
Picture Book
For ages 4 to 6
Andersen Press USA, 2012, 978-0-7613-8990-3
   Lou Pine the wolf fancies having some lamb for his supper. He sneaks up on a flock of sheep and crawls through a hole in the hedge, thinking all the while that he is “stunningly cunning.” Actually, he is not cunning at all because someone is waiting for him on the other side of the hedge. Rambo the Ram is big and tough and he makes it clear that Lou Pine’s presence is not welcome and that he had better “Buzz off” if he knows what is good for him.
   Lou realizes that he is going to have to be smart if he hopes to catch the sheep unawares. He decides that the solution to the problem is for him to get a “sheepy disguise” so that he can give “those dumb muttons a nasty surprise.”
   One would think that a smart wolf would be able to quickly rustle up a sheep costume, but Lone Pine experiences some rather unfortunate technical difficulties. Eventually he decides that he is going to need to help and he goes to Red Riding Hood’s gran’s house. Without wasting any time, Lone Pine threatens to eat Granny if she doesn’t knit him a sheep costume. Now, at last, Lone Pine is going to be able to have the lamb he is craving. Or perhaps not.
   In the real world, the bad guys all too often win, and it is very discouraging. Thankfully, in books, authors can control the outcome of their stories, and they can have a little fun at the expense of the bad guys, which is what happens in this title.
   Readers of all ages will laugh out loud when they see what Lou Pine gets up to, and how he is thwarted again and again. With a clever rhyming text and delightful multimedia illustrations, this is a picture book that will delight readers who need to be cheered up.

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