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Woolbur    by Leslie Helakoski & Lee Harper order for
by Leslie Helakoski
Order:  USA  Can
HarperCollins, 2008 (2008)
* *   Reviewed by Hilary Daninhirsch

Most sheep follow the flock, but not Woolbur. He has always marched to the beat of his own drummer, and that keeps getting him into trouble, which in turn, worries his Maa and Paa. No matter what they tell Woolbur to help him fit in, Woolbur rejects their advice.

"I don't want to stand still with the sheep," said Woolbur. "I ran with the dogs instead."
"But those dogs are half wild!" said Paa.
"I know," said Woolbur. "Isn't it great?"
"They'll run circles around you!" said Maa.
"I know," said Woolbur. "Isn't it great?

Not only does Woolbur not want to stand with the sheep, he doesn't want to shear his wool. He rode the spinning wheel, making his yarn all loopy. And instead of dyeing the yarn, he dyed himself a nice colbalt blue shade.

His parents finally lay down the law, and tell him he must do everything the other sheep do. So Wilbur comes up with a brilliant solution: rather than conform, he teaches the other sheep to do as he does. Despite the insanity that follows, Woolbur still manages to retain his individuality.

What is refreshing about this book is Woolbur's optimism and commitment to himself. He is completely comfortable with being unique and refuses to yield, but in a way that is not obstinate. The drawings are comical and perfectly over-the-top, which melds quites
nicely with the book's theme of honoring your true self.

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