Digby Takes Charge
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Digby Takes Charge

by Caroline Jayne Church
     
 

Digby is a sheepdog with a mission: to get six silly sheep herded into the pen. Easy-peasy, right? But these sheep won't be told where to go or what to do. It is only with the help of his barnyard friends — and one very important word — that Digby learns how to get what he wants.
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Overview

Digby is a sheepdog with a mission: to get six silly sheep herded into the pen. Easy-peasy, right? But these sheep won't be told where to go or what to do. It is only with the help of his barnyard friends — and one very important word — that Digby learns how to get what he wants.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly

Brimming with cheekiness, Church (One Smart Goose) tells the story of Digby, a new sheepdog who is definitely not being treated like top dog by his woolly charges. The six sheep on the farm "had different ideas," Church writes. "They didn't like being told where to go or what to do." (The sheep are comically shown filling up a two-page spread, staring at the reader with beady eyes and furrowed brows.) Digby resorts to an escalating series of tactics, attempting to herd them with a bulldozer, tank and finally a helicopter, but "the sheep simply looked up and laughed." There's a wry, cinematic eye behind the bright collage and acrylic drawings, and the cartoonish characterizations make the fierce battle of wills between Digby and the sheep even funnier. Digby does finally take charge, thanks to a tactic suggested by some of the other farmyard denizens who tell him, "We have lived on this farm for a long time.... And we've learned there is a way to get what we want!" (More effective than heavy machinery is the use of one polite little word, Digby learns.) Never didactic or preachy, Church uses a deft sense of humor that should make this simple lesson in manners all the more palatable to her target audience. Ages 4-7. (July)

Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information
Children's Literature - Ken Marantz
Digby, a small but appealing sheep dog, is hired by a grumpy farmer to herd silly sheep. Digby is sure that herding only six sheep will be "easy-peasy," but the sheep have their own ideas. Upset by being ignored, Digby tries ordering them into the pen "NOW!" first with a steam shovel, then a tank, finally a helicopter. But the sheep just laugh. The two cows and four pigs, seeing how bad he feels about his failure, finally whisper to him the secret answer to his problem. It is the "magic word" we keep reminding youngsters to use: "please." Unfortunately, however, "the ducks were another matter�" Church gives Digby's pasture the look of a set for toy animals, simplified creatures amid a few trees and bushes, and a toy house off in the distance. Collage is used for the shapes; the pieces are painted with acrylics and placed to generate the pleasant visual story. Close-ups of Digby and the sheep provide most of the emotion, particularly his hangdog, suffering posture as the animals slyly look on before he is told the secret.
Kirkus Reviews
Digby, the new sheepdog, learns the secret to getting what he wants, and teaches readers an important lesson in manners at the same time. When the grumpy farmer tells Digby to prove himself by putting the sheep in their pen, Digby thinks it will be a piece of cake, after all, there are only six of them. But he has met his match in these six sheep. They do not like being ordered about and refuse to be intimidated by growls, construction trucks, a tank or a helicopter. Out of brilliant ideas, Digby droops in defeat. Feeling sorry for him, the other farm animals let him in on the secret: Digby politely says, "please," and the sheep happily obey. The acrylic-and-collage illustrations are adorable-cute, fluffy sheep with smiles that never waver, and even Digby at his fiercest retains his charm. Church cleverly leaves the door open for sequels with the ducks as the next animal to cause trouble. Would that learning manners was always so amusing. (Picture book. 2-7)

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781416934417
Publisher:
Margaret K. McElderry Books
Publication date:
07/24/2007
Pages:
32
Product dimensions:
10.20(w) x 10.10(h) x 0.40(d)
Age Range:
4 - 7 Years

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