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The Great Sheep Shenanigans

The Great Sheep Shenanigans

5.0 1
by Mei Matsuoka (Illustrator), Peter Bently

A lamb for my supper will taste mighty fine!" thought a wily old wolf by the name of Lou Pine as he sneakily, slyly snuck up on the flock—but it wasn't the sheep that were in for a shock. . . .

With a stunningly cunning plan, Lou Pine finds a disguise that is sure to deliver a lamb stew or two. But this flock of sheep aren't quite the dumb mutton they


A lamb for my supper will taste mighty fine!" thought a wily old wolf by the name of Lou Pine as he sneakily, slyly snuck up on the flock—but it wasn't the sheep that were in for a shock. . . .

With a stunningly cunning plan, Lou Pine finds a disguise that is sure to deliver a lamb stew or two. But this flock of sheep aren't quite the dumb mutton they seem. . . .

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
A tough-guy sheep known as Rambo the Ram, a cotton-candy machine, and Red Riding Hood’s grandmother all play their parts in a rambunctious story from the team behind The Great Dog Bottom Swap, about a wolf’s attempts to procure sheep’s clothing. The ample humor in Bently’s mellifluous yet entertaining rhymes runs the gamut from highbrow (the wolf’s name is Lou Pine) to lowbrow (he winds up in a “big pile of poo”). The verse is often slyly witty, as when the wolf dreams of the lamb dishes that await him: “...chops and mint sauce? Or even lamb stew? Or burgers? Moussaka? Or lamb vindaloo?” Matsuoka’s illustrations supply plenty of comedy, too, from the boxing gloves that Rambo wears to the water gun that a neighbor (“the best shot in town”) uses to blast Lou when he tries to steal her fluffy gown for a disguise. Lou is thwarted again and again, and even after he forces Red Riding Hood’s grandmother to knit him a sweater, she finds a way to get the last laugh. Lou Pine’s ineptitude gives Wile E. Coyote a run for his money. Ages 4–9. (Apr.)
Children's Literature - Ken Marantz and Sylvia Marantz
Jolly verses tell the tale of a wily old wolf named Lou Pine. Dreaming of a lamb for supper, he thinks he can sneak up on a flock of sheep. But he, and we, are all shocked as we turn the page to meet the end of the rhyme: Rambo the Ram, who chases Lou off. Determined to disguise himself, Lou "borrows" a nightgown and mucks it up to look like a skunk. The sheep just laugh at him. When he tries to cover himself with "fleece" from a cotton candy machine, he is attacked by bees. Then he demands a sweater from Red Riding Hood's grandmother. But she has a trick up her sleeve. Lou is soon unmasked and kicked by Rambo into "a big pile of poo!" They will "smell him for miles!" Matsuoka visualizes a stylized bucolic setting with a peaceful flock of large and small round, white, puffy sheep; a scene interrupted by the antics of the wolf. We are treated to the amusing series of painful failures ending with the ram's attack; a swirling line traces the wolf's trajectory and landing. The colorful, humorous story is enhanced by the end pages covered with tiny squares of quilt patterns from the one on grandmother's bed. Reviewer: Ken Marantz and Sylvia Marantz
Kirkus Reviews
A self-deluded wolf is determined to catch a lamb for his supper. Lou Pine believes that he is wily and sly and much smarter than any sheep. When Rambo Ran blocks his initial foray into the pasture, insisting that he scram and vamoose, Lou decides that a "sheepy disguise" is the way to success. He tries stealing Ma Watson's fluffy white gown, getting painted white by a road-marking machine, covering himself in cotton candy and threatening Red Riding Hood's granny into knitting him a sheep-like sweater. But all his attempts meet with dismal failure and a rather disgusting final reckoning. Bently employs rollicking rhyme at a breakneck pace to tell the goofy tale. The lines are of varying lengths and don't always scan neatly, but the rhymes are mostly breezy and accessible to young readers. Word selection is quite slangy and might not sit well with adults, especially in Lou's last adventure, in which he "land[s] kersplat in a big pile of poo!" Of course, little ones will delight in the grossness. The text weaves in and around Matsuoka's textured, stylized cartoon illustrations, adding greatly to the hilarity. But, strangely, Lou doesn't even remotely resemble a wolf and really looks like no recognizable animal. Feels like a TV cartoon with lots of silly action and no real point, but fun nonetheless. (Picture book. 4-9)
School Library Journal
K-Gr 2—A clever—and hungry—wolf tries to insinuate himself among a fine, fat flock of sheep. Lou Pine, the wily wolf, thinks that it should be easy to sneak up and help himself to dinner. But no, Rambo the Ram, complete with snorting nostrils and boxing gloves, is there to defend his kin. Lou next tries a sheep disguise. There's Ma Watson's woolly nightgown…and a cotton candy coating…and even a sweater from Granny, but all fail to help him blend in with the flock. Bently's rollicking rhythms rarely (but occasionally) falter. His story is vigorous and unabashed. (At one point, Lou fantasizes about what he'll do when he catches some sheep: "Now shall I have cutlets? Or roast leg of lamb?/Or chops and mint sauce? Or even lamb stew?/Or burgers? Moussaka? Or lamb vindaloo?") Some of the words, concepts, and humor will soar over the heads of young listeners. Matsuoka pulls out all the stops here with mixed-media images that zing with color, texture (you can almost feel the fluff on the sheep), and hilarious exaggeration. While not for the very young, the faint of heart, or the aspiring vegetarian, The Great Sheep Shenanigans makes great reading for energetic youngsters.—Susan Weitz, formerly at Spencer-Van Etten School District, Spencer, NY

Product Details

Lerner Publishing Group
Publication date:
Product dimensions:
10.80(w) x 10.90(h) x 0.40(d)
AD620L (what's this?)
Age Range:
5 - 8 Years

Meet the Author

Peter Bently lives in Devon, England with his two young children. He is the author of many award-winning children's books, including King Jack and the Dragon, illustrated by Helen Oxenbury. Mei Matsuoka was born amidst the hustle and bustle of the unique city of Tokyo, to a Japanese father and British mother. She has been drawing and illustrating ever since she could pick up a pair of chopsticks. She currently hovers between the East and West, enjoying the delights of fresh new inspiration and curious discoveries.

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The Great Sheep Shenanigans 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Storywraps More than 1 year ago
Written in rhyme, full of wit and humour,  this book is so much fun to read aloud.  A conniving wolf named, Lou Pine (pun intended I'm sure) was prowling around a flock of sheep looking for a young, tasty lamb to fill his meat cravings.  He snuck through the hedge and came head-on with the flock's guardian, Rambo the Ram, who snorted smoke from his nostrils and wielded boxing gloves in the face of the perpetrator.  "Scram!" bellowed Rambo. "Vamoose!" Steer Clear!" Wolves are NOT welcome! Buzz off out of here!" Lou, not to be outsmarted decided to don a disguise so he could infiltrate the flock and fulfill his heart's desires.  Mmmmmmm....how would he like that served up?  What should he choose?  Lamb cutlets? Roast leg of lamb? Chops with mint sauce? Lamb stew? Burgers? Moussaka? or Lamb vindaloo?  He licked his chops in delight and salivated just thinking of the possibilities.  After many attempts at the perfect camouflage he decided on a sweater knit by none other than Little Red Riding Hood's grandmother.  The old lady in her wisdom knew exactly how to outwit the nasty wolf bully named Lou Pine.  The outcome of this tale will have your child (and you) rolling on the floor with laughter.  I won't spoil it for you here but believe me the wolf will not try that shenanigan again for a long, long while. Smell you later. FYI:  Smell you later was used as a farewell. The phrase "smell you later" is another way of saying goodbye.   Invented in the 20th century, its prime usage was in the 1990's.  Its slow decline started in the early 2000's.  The phrase was mostly used by the young.  "Smell you later" is very similar to "see you later" and means the exact same thing.  Although not as popular as a farewell anymore, people still recognize the phrase and its meaning.