Sheep Dog and Sheep Sheep
illus. by Eric Barclay. 40p. HarperCollins/Harper. Feb. 2019. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9780062677389. POP
PreS-Gr 1–Sheep Dog goes above and beyond the call of duty when a little sheep bumps into him one day, clearly in need of more help than she realizes. The lamb (who calls herself "Sheep Sheep" after her new friend identifies himself as the "Sheep Dog") decides to lend some assistance of her own by tying his long hair into a dainty bow, providing him with binoculars to enhance his sight, and handing him a map so he won't get lost. Sheep Dog proves his mettle in less ostentatious ways by ordering a swooping eagle to "vamoose" and telling a threatening coyote to "skedaddle." Sheep finds ways to look after her large shaggy friend in her own way. Barclay's quick-witted text is as endearing as his pastel pencil and Photoshop illustrations, which feature an expressive, free-spirited sheep alongside a deeply caring, albeit stoic sheep dog. Sheep's antics are memorably adorable and funny, particularly when she launches into the "Get this Spider off of Me Dance" and the "Pee Pee Dance." Sheep Dog's mostly deadpan expression is the perfect contrast to Sheep's childish silliness, making them ideal partners. This is as endearing as Peggy Rathmann's Officer Buckle and Gloria.
VERDICT A winning read-aloud to celebrate the merits of true friendship.

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