I’m More Than A Sheep – at a glance
The School Reading Lists’ five word review: busy, dramatic, illustrated, bold, colourful.
Children’s book title: I’m More Than A Sheep.
Children’s author: Bethany Christou
Children’s illustrator: Bethany Christou.
Genre: Picture book.
Published by: Templar Books.
Recommended for children aged: 3+
First published: Paperback April 2022.
This children’s book is ideal for: inquisitive children aged four to eight.
To see the latest price or order, click on the book cover image.
Sheep are, almost by definition, conventional creatures. They slavishly follow each other’s every move. They run across fields in tight formation. If they could speak they would never utter a single word which could possibly offend another sheep. If they could vote they would elect governments of vapid, indecisive nobodies. It’s expected. Even traditional.
‘Mildred wanted to be special, not like every other sheep.’
With that opening sentence we are welcomed into the frenetic world of Mildred and her bids to vault the wire fence of stultifying sheepdom.
She wants more from life than an unvarying diet of grass, running in the same direction as all the other sheep and regularly having her coat shorn off. Even her most determined efforts to look different are immediately copied by the rest of the flock. She decides to do ‘something special. Something no other sheep can do.’
So she starts to copy other animals.
She starts with a horse, but she can’t possibly run fast enough to keep up. She fares no better with the chickens, even trying to lay an egg.
‘Mildred tried her hardest, but what she laid was definitely NOT an egg.’
After further experiments – digging, swimming, flying – she is about to give up when she runs into ‘the most magnificent creature of them all.’
Ms Wolf is devious, cunning and clever. She soon has Mildred lined up for her next evening meal. Mildred doesn’t suspect a thing until it’s nearly too late. But then her loud BAAAAA!!! is answered by all her old friends, not only from the fold but also the paddock, the coop, the pond – even the cat joins in – and she is rescued and returned to the safety of home.
This is a busy, dramatic tale, illustrated with boldly colourful pictures. And, without being in any way ‘issue-led’ it carries an important sub-text about individuality, friendship and the need sometimes to rely on others.
As usual, I road-tested it on my grandson (nearly four) and he was absorbed in it to the end, always a good sign. There were plenty of new words for him to take in and a lot of comic detail in the pictures to talk about.
I would warmly recommend it to any parents or teachers of inquisitive children aged four to eight.
Many thanks to Templar Books for the review copy.
If you like I’m More Than A Sheep by Bethany Christou you might also like: our reviews of The More Monster, written and illustrated by Hayley Wells, Gangster School: Gruffles and the Killer Sheep by Kate Wiseman, Sock Story and Born Bad by C K Smouha and Rita’s Rabbit by Laura Mucha and Hannah Peck.
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