Reading/Interest Level: Primary
Author: David Elliott
Illustrator: Melissa Sweet
Wooliam and Baabwaa are sheep that like to read and knit. One day, these best friends decide to take a walk and find adventure. They are not particularly enjoying their walk until they meet a wolf in sheep's clothing who begins a chase. Wooliam recognizes the wolf from the famous Red Riding story and this stops the wolf in his tracks. People know about him? Really? Baabwaa and Wooliam decide to teach the wolf how to read: a task which is made difficult by constant lapses in attention where the wolf's innate desire to eat them gives them lots of exercise. These two very progressive sheep manage to have a cautious, but deep friendship with the wolf, who does indeed learn to read and enjoy it!
Quirky, wonderful, and fun, this story is not overly educational but it has value in the unflagging friendship and optimism of these two hip sheep, who are not afraid to be themselves. They seem delightfully content with each other and their habits and quite willing to shake up their routine with an adventure. When their adventure goes awry, they turn the situation into an opportunity to help the wolf learn to read. Additionally, when the wolf forgets his lessons and resumes the chase, they find understanding for his innate nature and do not judge him. This is a quirky take on friendship and what it takes to befriending someone who is completely different than yourself. The illustrations have a hipster vibe with bright water-colored images that imbue their own quirkiness to the story. This is a wonderful book about less than friendly friends, and will make for a more understanding and patient world.