Gilda is a giant sheep who produces so much wool and milk that the 20 shepherds in charge of her are tired. When they decide to sell her for mutton, Gilda runs away. Where will Gilda find a new home?
As Gilda runs away she wonders about the ungrateful shepherds who would turn her into mutton stew: “Is it too much to ask for a sheep to grow old in peace?” Eventually, Gilda arrives in a city vaguely resembling New York City. A dramatic two-page spread shows a panicked Gilda almost as tall as the buildings, running down the street as the pedestrians snap photos on their smartphones. Clearly, the city is not home. A circus, with its caged and sad-looking animals, is not home either. When Gilda overcomes her fear of water to rescue a drowning (regular-sized) sheep, the grateful ovine takes her home. There she finds friendship, purpose (in scaring the wolves away), and, most importantly, a home. Spanish author/illustrator Urberuaga's pictures are as multilayered as his story, conveying many emotions with a few deceptively simple lines. First published in Germany, Italy, and the Netherlands 25 years ago, the tale is now being published in the United States, in both English and Spanish, for the first time, with updated illustrations that depict multiracial if tiny humans in the backgrounds. The translated English edition is just as delightful as the Spanish version.
A book to be shared, savored, and discussed. (Picture book. 4-8)