Counting sheep has never been such a cooperative effort!
A little black child lies in bed on the endpapers staring at a sheep-shaped clock. A puffy, stuffed sheep rests at the end of the bed. The child is counting sheep. As the book begins, Sheep 99 and Sheep 100 sail over the fence, but Sheep 101 (the stuffed toy) becomes stuck midjump. Sheep 102 tries to help, but the child narrator tells it sheep aren’t supposed to talk. As Sheep 101 continues to struggle, along comes a cow (the one that jumped over the moon); she says they’re out of sheep and she’s Sheep 103. The fifth little piggy is Sheep 104. One of the three blind mice is Sheep 105. Sheep 102 returns and calls in Sandman, a Lego rescue copter…only to find that Sheep 101 (and the child) are fast asleep. Morris’ charmer of a bedtime tale is told mostly in speech balloons with occasional text interjection from the counting child, who is depicted only on the endpapers. Pham’s digitally finished crayon-and-pencil cartoon illustrations, all full-bleed, are full of foolish-looking farm animals who routinely break the fourth wall and address the counting child (and the audience). Cheeky characters, onomatopoeia, and plenty of goofy action will keep the pages turning and force rereads.
This may not send wee ones to the Land of Nod, but it will spark their imaginations and tickle their funny bones. (Picture book. 2-7)