Those Magnificent Sheep in Their Flying Machine

(Author) (Illustrator)

Product Details

Andersen Press
Publish Date
9.7 X 11.1 X 0.4 inches | 0.95 pounds

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About the Author

Peter Bently lives in England. He studied languages at Oxford University and has written more than 40 titles, one of which led to him win the Roald Dahl Funny Prize 2011.
David Roberts has illustrated many children's books, including the bestselling Questioneers series. He lives in London. Andrea and David are both executive producers of the Emmy Award-winning show Ada Twist, Scientist on Netflix.


"In this British import, a flock of sheep are startled by a 'zoom' overhead. They trot over the next hill and come across a 1920s airplane show straight out of the movie by (nearly) the same title. There, a yellow biplane catches their attention. The sheep accidentally start the plane and before they know it, they're soaring over the countryside. They go on a whirlwind tour; France, Spain, Egypt, Tibet, India, and Florida before heading back to their hillside. The rhyming text contains just enough British sentiment for American children to 'get it.' Charming colored pencil illustrations add comical touches to each page, especially the sheep's expressions. The sightseeing turns somewhat stereotypical in India, where the sheep encounter a maharajah. Overall, the rhyming story and goofy concept will keep children giggling through the end; a great choice for storytime. [Editor's Note: Available in e-book format.] Recommended."―Library Media Connection


"A passel of sheep, who vaguely resemble characters from the titular movie, are quietly grazing on the hillside when they are startled by a loud noise overhead. Their curiosity piqued, they skip to the hilltop and spy an air race about to begin, complete with men in goggles and a brass band. The sheep can't resist the urge to check out a bright yellow airplane standing nearby. One thing leads to another, and soon, the eight sheep find themselves squished into the tiny cockpit, soaring above the fields, swerving, swooping and looping with gay abandon. Their wild aerial journey takes them on fantastical, if somewhat stereotyped, adventures all over the world. They can-can in France, flamenco in Spain, encounter a Yeti in Tibet, are (politically incorrectly) offered mutton curry in India and are threatened by crocs in Florida. Suddenly homesick, the errant sheep fly home and are grazing on their familiar hillside before the chap who owns the plane can guess the identity of the 'thieves in white sweaters' who stole it. This lighthearted romp, full of jokey references to an almost 50-year-old movie, will amuse young readers who are not bothered by logistical improbability. The seamless melding of Bently's catchy British doggerel with Roberts' elegant colored-pencil-and-watercolor illustrations makes this an attractive choice. Just pure, wooly-headed fun." --Kirkus Reviews


"A herd of sheep stumbles upon an airshow and inadvertently takes off in a plane. After initial confusion, they discover they like flying, and they decide to travel and see the world. Following a series of adventures--in Tibet, they run from a Yeti; a maharajah in India thinks, 'Mutton curry;' and a log in a Florida swamp 'wants something to chomp'--they decide to head home to their pasture. They leap out, and the befuddled pilot sees his empty plane, no thieves in sight--only sheep, munching away. The rhymes flow well, and the text swoops and swerves with the motion of the plane. Illustrations bring to mind the 1920s and include the heavy use of patterns on people's clothes and faraway landscapes. However, the best part of the pictures are the expressions on the woolly white faces of the sheep, particularly on the cover. They look positively blissful--flying clearly agrees with them." --School Library Journal


"Eight sheep are munching away on a hillside when 'Zoom!'--racing airplanes swoosh overhead. The excited sheep hop into a bright yellow biplane, with fluff, hooves, and horns humorously overlapping. The ladies and gents below, dressed in 1920s clothing, spot the goings-on with their binoculars, and a mustached chap cries out in alarm. In every action-filled double-page spread, the text itself whirls in loop-the-loops and nosedives as the woolly passengers cry, 'Yippee!' Their journey around the world continues as they cancan in France, flamenco in Spain, wake up mummies in Egypt, and disturb a grouchy yeti. The poetic text is clever: 'An old maharajah sat stroking his belly / And said, "Come for lunch at my palace in Delhi!"' On each page, green hills, blue skies, clouds, sunsets, all in bright color washes and a wealth of detail demand examination. Children will enjoy this delightful global romp." --Booklist