Select one of the keywords
Big Bad Sheep    by Bettina Wegenast & Katharina Busshoff order for
Big Bad Sheep
by Bettina Wegenast
Order:  USA  Can
Eerdmans, 2012 (2012)
* * *   Reviewed by J. A. Kaszuba Locke

Friends Karl and Locke are munching grass with other sheep in a meadow when they hear the happy pigs singing: 'The Wolf is dead, the Wolf is dead!' When Locke questions Karl about wolves, he's told, 'Of course all wolves are bad ... He wasn't the Big Bad Wolf for nothing.' In surprise Locke asks, 'Not for nothing? You mean he got paid for it?'

Thus, begins Big Bad Sheep (a chapter book first published in Germany in 2005 as Wolf Sein and translated by Helena Ragg-Kirkby). Karl decides to apply for the Wolf Wanted position at the job office, which is watched over by 'a little man in brown overalls and a pointy red hat'. The dwarf asks the large sheep for qualifications as he puts Karl through the paces of a growl, then a howl. Of course, the job has a probationary period - 'until the day after tomorrow'.

Karl inquires about benefits, salary, and vacation while the employer reads the job description offering 'fifty hens, three little pigs, half of a kingdom, regular health exams, and time off on days that the Wolf chooses'. Next step is to fit Karl into the Wolf's fur, tucking in a lot of the large sheep's body. Karl finds the fur a mite warm and scratchy on top of his full body of thick fleece!

Locke notices a change in his friend - 'black and bristly fur, sharp and pointy teeth' - and becomes a mite frightened. In the past Karl pretended he was a vulture, and bit the leg of sheep Rene, whom he considers a pest. Karl maps out a plan to approach Rene in order to apologize for the past deed; but the reader and Locke know that Karl is up to mischief. So Locke re-visits the job office to apply for the position of Hunter, and is outfitted with a hat, cape, sewing kit, and an antique gun.

There's so much more to this wonderful, quirky yet delightful tale, a perfect story to read-out-loud with expression and lots of gusto! It is a combination of The Three Little Pigs, The Big Bad Wolf, and The Sheep in Wolf's Clothing with suspense, adventure, and so much laughter! Author Bettina Wegenast delivers genial text, lively conversations and descriptions that hold the reader's attention from beginning to end. And Katharina Busshoff's black and white illustrations are great with finely-detailed images, characters and action.

Note: Opinions expressed in reviews and articles on this site are those of the author(s) and not necessarily those of BookLoons.

Find more Kids books on our Shelves or in our book Reviews