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*Pete the Sheep-Sheep* by Jackie French, illustrated by Bruce Whatley

Pete the Sheep-Sheep
by Jackie French, illustrated by Bruce Whatley
ages 4-8 32 pages Clarion Books September 2005 Hardcover    

Shaun is a sheep shearer, but he does things a little differently than the other sheep shearers. While Big Bob, Ratso and Bungo all use sheep dogs to herd their sheep, Shaun uses Pete, his sheep-sheep. The other sheep shearers don’t like Shaun and Pete, mostly because Pete is better at herding the sheep than the dogs are. They decide that Pete and Shaun need to leave, prompting them to open their own place, Shaun’s Sheep Salon. Soon, all the sheep are coming to the salon to get sheared and even the sheep dogs get in on the action. Soon, the other sheep shearers are out of a job. However, instead of holding a grudge, Shaun and Pete invite them to join Shaun’s Sheep Salon.

Pete the Sheep-Sheep by Jackie French is not only an inventive, cute story with adorable artwork by Bruce Whatley, it is also a book with more than one lesson. The first lesson kids will learn from it is that it’s okay, and sometimes even better, to be different. Pete and Shaun are not like the other sheep shearers or their dogs, but they embrace their individualism and end up better for it. Another lesson is that of acceptance. If the other sheep shearers would have accepted Pete and Shaun as they were, they never would have been out of a job. The last lesson is that of forgiveness. Even though the other sheep shearers did not give Pete and Shaun a chance, Pete and Shaun invite them to join their new salon instead of holding a grudge.

This book would be good to read to young children or for older children to read on their own. The words are large and kids will have a fun challenge learning new words like ‘shearing’ and the shearers’ names. There are some large words in here, so parents may have to help their children sound out a few new ones.

Pete the Sheep-Sheep is a unique, adorable book that is not only fun for kids to learn but also teaches them some valuable lessons. Recommended for any kids who like animals stories or simply want to hear a funny story.

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  Angela McQuay/2005 for curled up with a good kid's book  

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