A wide-awake sheep echoes the story of “The Boy Who Cried Wolf” in this humorous British import from debut author Adams and veteran illustrator Wills (Annie’s Grannies in Decorating Disaster, 2017, etc.).
Tansy lamb can’t get to sleep. She asks her mum if it’s time to get up—but, of course, it’s not even close. Tansy asks first her mother, then her sister, Teasel, for sleeping advice, but nothing works. Finally, the barn owl tells Tansy she should count sheep, so Tansy does, but she finds only 19 sheep in her flock instead of the 20 that should be there. After a charming interlude of worried imaginings worthy of Frog and Toad or Elephant and Piggie, she wakes everyone to find the missing sheep. The sheep are in a tizzy until the sheepdog arrives to reveal that Tansy forgot to count herself. Now all the sheep are wide-awake—except Tansy, who finally falls asleep. Wills’ sheep are wonderfully fluffy, and the green moors and blue sky are cozy for bedtime storytelling. Tansy’s expressions, and her endearing attempts at falling asleep, will resonate with young readers who have had the problem themselves. Elementary readers are likely to realize Tansy’s mistake before the sheepdog and chuckle at being right.
Adams’ vocabulary is just right for lap reading, and the happy ending to the silly mistake—and Tansy’s subsequent bedtime success—will make this a nighttime favorite.