'The best books, reviewed with insight and charm, but without compromise.'
- author Jackie French

Monday 14 March 2011

Review: Pete the Sheep

The thing about Jackie French is that she’s good with a yarn. She knows how to tell a story – a true tale – and it’s always warm and memorable.

In Pete the Sheep, we meet a sheepdog with a difference. In that he is – err . . . a sheep. And this just doesn’t sit right with the regular shearers at the shed. Things are done a certain way, you see – and we can’t go having things out of the ordinary. And Pete was definitely out of the ordinary, right down to this jaunty hat.

Owner shearer Shaun insists Pete is just as good as any old sheepdog – if not better. While dogs go ‘arf arf’, Pete simply goes ‘baa baaaa’ (which just so happens to mean ‘if you don’t mind waiting, sir, Shaun will be with you shortly’), yet still the other shearers don’t like it one little bit.

Alas, Shaun the shearer and Pete are cast out of the shearing shed. But does this get them down? Not on your white woolly socks. After shearing Pete’s fleece into a super chic shape, Shaun opens a Sheep Salon where he is inundated with woolly clients, who delight in his styling prowess.

Business certainly booms but what of the other shearers who outcast Shaun and Pete? With no more sheep to shear . . . they find themselves at a loose end; that is until a Shearers Wanted sign appears in the salon window . . .

This is truly a must-have Aussie book – delightful, funny, iconic, warm and hilariously Ocker, from the lingo to the names to the shearers’ blue singlets, Whatley’s illustrations take French’s superb text to a whole other level.

Wait til you see the sheep in baaaarber chairs and the super hip haircuts. Priceless.

A CBCA notable book? You better believe it.

Title: Pete the Sheep
Author: Jackie French
Illustrator: Bruce Whatley
Publisher: HarperCollins, $14.99
Publication Date: 24 July 2006
ISBN: 9780207199745
Format: Soft cover
For ages: 5 – 10
Type: Picture Book