From the Publisher
"Whatley's pencil drawings...may well cause readers to laugh out loud...French's [story]...is an example to live by." PW Publishers Weekly
"Whatley's cleanly designed illustrations...work well with French's understated text. Strong lines focus attention on the expressive characters..." HORN BOOK Horn Book
"Amusing...Whatley's watercolor-and-colored-pencil illustrations are clean and crisp and work nicely with the text..." SLJ School Library Journal
"Good for story hours. The text is...jaunty and the artwork...amusing." BOOKLIST Booklist, ALA
"Whimsical...It's a sweetly fleecy tale of outsider-makes-good, the genially inevitable ending entirely satisfying." -KIRKUS Kirkus Reviews
"Cleanly designed illustrations work well with French's understated text." HORN BOOK GUIDE Horn Book Guide, Pointer
Sheep-shearers in Shaggy Gull traditionally have a sheep dog. But Shaun, the new sheep-shearer, has a sheep-sheep named Pete. Pete talks to the sheep, and they talk to him, which helps make Shaun and Pete a great shearing team, to the annoyance of the other shearers. Angrily they send them away. Shaun, who loves and misses shearing, gives Pete a whole new sheared look. When the other sheep admire it, Shaun is inspired to open a Sheep Salon. Not only do the sheep flock there for the latest look, but the sheep dogs go for a trim as well. Deserted by both their sheep and their dogs, the shearers join Shaun in helping everyone look "gorgeous." Whatley keeps his watercolor and colored pencil pictures of shearers and animals front and center with no need for settings. In their odd fedoras and shorts, the men make a comic trio contrasting with Shaun in shorts and Pete in his own hat. The sheep and dogs all play natural roles until, of course, each gets a special hairdo. The sight of them in the barber chairs just adds to the fun. 2005 (orig. 2004), Clarion Books/Houghton Mifflin Company, Ages 4 to 8.
Ken Marantz and Sylvia Marantz
School Library Journal
K-Gr 2-All the sheep shearers at Shaggy Gully have sheep dogs with names like Brute, Tiny, and Fang. A new shearer, Shaun, arrives with a "sheep-sheep" named Pete, who rounds up the animals with polite requests and compliments. Soon the sheep will only respond to Pete, and allow only Shaun to shear them. When the other shearers insist that they must go, Shaun opens a salon in town, styling the sheep's wool in innovative ways. When Brute, Tiny, and Fang desert their owners to have their fur styled, the other shearers finally join the salon and spend their time styling animals of all shapes and sizes. The creators of Diary of a Wombat (Clarion, 2003) have produced a bit of harmless, silly fluff that, while mildly amusing, is hardly likely to inspire rereading. Whatley's watercolor-and-colored-pencil illustrations are clean and crisp and work nicely with the text, but there is simply not much substance here.-Grace Oliff, Ann Blanche Smith School, Hillsdale, NJ Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
In a sort of "queer eye for the straight sheep," a mild-mannered shearer and his sheep-sheep show a trio of tough shearers how to get in touch with their stylish sides. Ratso, Big Bob and Bungo, and their sheepdogs Brute, Tiny and Fang, are taken aback, to say the least, when Shaun shows up with fedora-clad Pete, a sheep-herding sheep, whose polite way with his flock represents a radical and unwelcome new way of doing things. Ostracized from shearer society, Shaun practices his craft on Pete, whose new do draws all the other sheep to him, prompting him to open a salon. Soon, Brute, Tiny and Fang are sporting Shaun's handiwork as well, and finally Ratso, Big Bob and Bungo all join in. As in the pair's Diary of a Wombat (2003), the understated text gives the whimsical watercolor-and-pencil illustrations plenty of room to explore the inherent wackiness of the concept, as the gentle Shaun finds the right look for everyone, sheep, dog and shearer alike. It's a sweetly fleecy tale of outsider-makes-good, the genially inevitable ending entirely satisfying. (Picture book. 5-8)