The Strange Case of the Missing Sheep

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Overview

1, 2, 3 . . . hey, where'd all the sheep go??

In a place called Happy Valley, there live ten sheep. Every night, the ten sheep are counted into their beds by one Super Sheep Dog named Doug. But one day, the sheep are missing! Who could have stolen them? Might it be Wolf, who lives in the Dark Forest? And for what nefarious purpose? Does he want to knit them into a blanket? Bake them into a pie? Or maybe he wants to . . . count them?

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Overview

1, 2, 3 . . . hey, where'd all the sheep go??

In a place called Happy Valley, there live ten sheep. Every night, the ten sheep are counted into their beds by one Super Sheep Dog named Doug. But one day, the sheep are missing! Who could have stolen them? Might it be Wolf, who lives in the Dark Forest? And for what nefarious purpose? Does he want to knit them into a blanket? Bake them into a pie? Or maybe he wants to . . . count them?

With kooky, creative illustrations and an unexpected ending that will get kids giggling, this is a lively story about the fun of counting .. . and a bedtime surprise.

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  • Strange Case of the Missing Sheep
    Strange Case of the Missing Sheep  

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Wolf needs some sheep, and he easily lures 10 idiotic creatures usually guarded by Doug the Super Sheep Dog into the Dark Forest—all he has to do is hold out a big, swirly lollipop. “Must... have... candy... ” murmurs the first sheep as it abandons Happy Valley. “WE NEED CANDY,” shout the rest of the sheep as they follow. After looking high and low, it's “Super Dog to the Rescue!” as Doug changes into his purple cape and gives chase. But Wolf's scheme isn't as evil as it appears. Catusanu's cracked sense of humor and accomplished skills as an illustrator make for a strong authorial debut—readers won't be able to stop giggling. Painted in hot shades of orange and brown and punctuated with Monty Python–esque clips of horns, hands and gizmos, the spreads teem with explanatory captions and cheeky remarks (“puffft” comes wafting gently from the backside of one sheep as they pose for a group portrait). On the cover, Catusanu promises that the story is “Inspired by true events,” and his creation is nothing if not inspired. Ages 3–up. (Sept.)
Children's Literature - Ken Marantz and Sylvia Marantz
Ten unusual sheep live in Happy Valley with a Super Sheep Dog named Doug. They frolic all day, and Doug counts them when they go to bed. Nearby in the Dark Forest lives Wolf. He has a problem that he needs sheep to solve. So, he lures one sheep away to his home; the others follow. When Doug notes that the sheep are missing, he changes into his Super Dog costume and is off to the rescue! Wolf explains that he needs the sheep so that he can count them and get to sleep, but the zany sheep will not hold still. The sympathetic Doug takes control and lines them up. As he counts, Wolf finally falls asleep. The unexpected happy ending to this wolf-sheep confrontation tale is only part of the humor that can be found on every page of the brief, simple story. The fun starts on the cover with the bespectacled wolf observing a line of dancing sheep, one of which is holding a large lollypop. These are cartoon-y sheep with oddly shaped, expressive faces and curly wool coats, one of which is labeled 100% polyester. Catusanu uses tones of brown on textured single- and double-page spreads with some collage to create the surreal adventure. All sorts of odd objects appear, like weights for lifting, shower caps, telescopes, and newspaper pages. There are labels on everything, along with speech balloons galore. With so few words of text, the visual content is responsible for both the story line and the humorous emotional content. The end papers reinforce counting from one to ten on fingers. Reviewer: Ken Marantz and Sylvia Marantz
School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 1—With faces reminiscent of the Easter Island Moai statues, 10 quirkily attired sheep cavort under the watchful eye of Doug the Sheep Dog. A wolf living nearby in the Dark Forest decides he needs sheep and tempts one with a piece of candy to follow him. The rest of the flock follows. Doug notices the eerie quiet and abandoned toys where the sheep usually hang out, leaps into a closet, emerges as a costumed hero—Super Sheep Dog—and super-bikes to the rescue. At wolf's house he finds that the capering sheep aren't meant for stew, but only to help the seriously insomniac wolf count himself to sleep—which he can't do because the flock is having such chaotic fun they won't stay still. Doug gets his wild bunch counted and in line, and the wolf snoozes with his stuffed bunny toy. The orange-and-brown-drenched paint and collage illustrations sport a retro look, hilarious asides, and characters packed with personality. With only a few words per page, the book will be fun for group sharing or for readers to pore over the illustrations on their own.—Marge Loch-Wouters, La Crosse Public Library, WI
Kirkus Reviews
Super Sheep Dog Doug must find the ten missing sheep who have been lured into the dark forest by a desperate wolf. The sheep usually spend their days gamboling about and having as much fun as possible, and they sleep peacefully every night. The wolf needs those sheep, but not for the reasons readers might assume. This slight tale is brought to life by an imaginative layout and illustrations. The very brief text is in large, bold-faced print, but scattered throughout are also word balloons, banners, directional signs and captions. Pages are filled to the brim with off-the-wall depictions of the action in tones of bright orange and brown. By day the square-faced sheep play all manner of games; they also brush their teeth, exercise and take showers at night. Doug wears a superhero cape and rides a super bike. The wolf has the look of a dissolute beatnik. And there is a mysterious fly. Even the author information is part of the fun. Deliciously daffy. (Picture book. 3-7)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780670011315
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA) Incorporated
  • Publication date: 9/3/2009
  • Pages: 32
  • Age range: 3 - 5 Years
  • Product dimensions: 9.60 (w) x 10.10 (h) x 0.40 (d)

Meet the Author

Mircea Catusanu (pronounced Meer-cha Catoo-sha-noo) grew up in Romania and now lives with his wife and daughter in New York City.

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