A passel of sheep, who vaguely resemble characters from the titular movie, are quietly grazing on the hillside when they are startled by a loud noise overhead.
Their curiosity piqued, they skip to the hilltop and spy an air race about to begin, complete with men in goggles and a brass band. The sheep can’t resist the urge to check out a bright yellow airplane standing nearby. One thing leads to another, and soon, the eight sheep find themselves squished into the tiny cockpit, soaring above the fields, swerving, swooping and looping with gay abandon. Their wild aerial journey takes them on fantastical, if somewhat stereotyped, adventures all over the world. They can-can in France, flamenco in Spain, encounter a Yeti in Tibet, are (politically incorrectly) offered mutton curry in India and are threatened by crocs in Florida. Suddenly homesick, the errant sheep fly home and are grazing on their familiar hillside before the chap who owns the plane can guess the identity of the “thieves in white sweaters” who stole it. This lighthearted romp, full of jokey references to an almost 50-year-old movie, will amuse young readers who are not bothered by logistical improbability. The seamless melding of Bently’s catchy British doggerel with Roberts’ elegant colored-pencil–and-watercolor illustrations makes this an attractive choice.
Just pure, wooly-headed fun. (Picture book. 3-6)