Friday, April 15, 2016

Pete the sheep by Jackie French and Bruce Whatley

All the sheep shearers have their favourite sheep dogs - border collies who know how to round up the sheep and get them into the shearing shed.  They are proper dogs named Brute, Tiny and Fang, but the new shearer has a sheep sheep named Pete!  

None of the other shearers can believe their eyes when Shaun and Pete arrive to shear the sheep, but they soon discover there is more to this team that meets the eye!  Pete has a way with the sheep, and Shaun creates the most amazing styles for the sheep he is shearing.  Can this dynamic duo win over the traditional sheep shearers?

Jackie French and Bruce Whatley are my absolute favourite author and illustrator pairing when it comes to picture books - and Bruce Whatley is one of my all time favourite illustrators for picture books.  Jackie French has the most amazing creatures and stories running around in her head, and her anthropomorphic animals seem particularly engaging, from Pete, to Pamela the cow, to the famous wombats.  Bruce Whatley brings these characters to life with a skilled hand in his own distinct style.  

Pete the sheep is an older book now, being more than ten years old, but it has lost none of its charm over the years.  The traditional sheep shearers are a wonderful cliche with their black singlets, and their border collies are just what you would expect working dogs to be like.  In comparison to the stereotyped 'country folk' Shaun and Pete seem like flamboyant 'city folk' who are trying to change things that don't need changing.  I challenge you to read this book without laughing out loud at least once!

If you like this book then try:

  • Diary of a wombat by Jackie French; illustrated by Bruce Whatley
  • Too many pears! by Jackie French; illustrated by Bruce Whatley
  • Good dog Hank by Jackie French; illustrated by Nina Rycroft
  • Dinosaurs love cheese by Jackie French; illustrated by Nina Rycroft
  • Wait!  No paint! by Bruce Whatley
  • The ugliest dog in the world by Bruce Whatley
  • That magnetic dog by Bruce Whatley

Reviewed by Brilla

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