Stewart uses a group of sheep friends to relay messages of tolerance, acceptance, and nonjudgment.
Brian is a happy and accepting sheep who greets each new addition to the flock as a potential friend and playmate. But as it grows, some of the newcomers have rules for who they will or won’t play with. Tracey and Frank “only like sheep with curly horns.” Stanley doesn’t like sheep with “plain white wool.” Brian is saddened by his new friends’ intolerance and goes off alone. When a wolf threatens all, Brian’s bravery saves the day, along with teaching the rest of the sheep that working and being together benefits everyone. In this obvious “message” story, the writing is somewhat simplistic and repetitive; despite this, young readers might have difficulty identifying and keeping track of the large cast of characters without adult guidance. The illustrations are distinctive and vivid; fans of Eric Carle will find the textured, collagelike pictures reminiscent of his classic work. There are no humans in the book, but the animal characters are plainly meant to represent a wide range of diversity.
An appropriate-enough option for caregivers who seek books that present basic messages of the benefits and beauty of diversity for the very young. (Picture book. 4-6)