El rebaño

NubeOcho. Apr. 2023. 40p. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9788419253255. SP.
PreS-Gr 1–Sheep have four primary duties: sightseeing, eating, sleeping, and helping children fall asleep. But one night, when Miguel is trying to doze off, one of the sheep, Cuatro (the only black sheep), opposes her task. It’s not for lack of care. Cuatro simply changes her mind and refuses to follow the status quo. As Miguel tries to keep his eyes open, Cuatro receives a mysterious letter that prompts the strong-willed sheep to take a leap. Initially presented as a simple counting picture book in lyrical Spanish, this book has more to offer than meets the eye. The allegory-based plot in first-person narration shows a sheep that does not want to comply with predetermined rules established without her input. Out-of-the-box thinking could lead to the solution that everyone seeks. An open ending will elicit curiosity and reflection from readers. The art is set in a mixture of spreads and single-page illustrations that highlight the main characters, utilizing a green pasture over a white background as a unifying element throughout. The Spanish text is underlined, with some phrases in bold for emphasis. There are lots of opportunities for call and answer here, making this a great choice for a participatory bedtime story time.
VERDICT A singular picture book for curious kids who appreciate layers of meaning and reflection in their stories—and just the right amount of silliness.

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