Published by Alfred A. Knopf
Summary: Gus has put together a report for school about the 17 sheep he has at his house. It starts off pretty innocently: “A boy sheep is a ram. He has horns. The horns do not come off,” but when you look at the accompanying illustration of Gus tugging with all his might on a rope wrapped around the sheep’s horns, you may guess that Gus may be a bit of a mischief maker at his house. And you would be right, as the report goes on to show Gus trading his brother for a lamb, cutting off a patch of wool to make himself a beard, and letting all 17 sheep into the house when his parents turn their backs for just a minute. The last page shows Gus’s report with a B+ on it, and a comment from his teacher that indicates Gus’s mother knows what his teacher is up against. 40 pages; ages 4-8.
Pros: The Penderwicks author Jeanne Birdsall has written an entertaining story; what kids will really appreciate, though, is Harry Bliss’s cartoon-style illustrations that show the story behind the story. Read this one aloud and you will have a rapt audience and lots of laughs.
Cons: A sheep eats a scarf. Is that a form of sheep cannibalism?