Brian the Brave

Flyaway Bks. Aug. 2019. 32p. Tr $17. ISBN 9781947888180.
PreS-Gr 1–On a pastoral hillside, a white sheep named Brian meets a black sheep named Rose, and they quickly become friends until another black sheep named Stanley says that “plain white wool is ugly” and he will play only with Rose. Soon a group of sheep, who will play only with other sheep with horns, come along, and Stanley is ousted. Brian asserts that they are all sheep and should all play together, but he is ostracized for the way he talks. On his own, Brian encounters a wolf who soon terrorizes the whole pasture. At last, Brian rallies the sheep to beat up the wolf and chase it away. While the story provides a generic reimagining of familiar themes, the illustrations offer compelling depth and texture using painted paper and other elements of collage. The sheep each have a unique design.
VERDICT A visually interesting if standard tale of the dangers of prejudice and the power of teamwork, suitable for early elementary readers.

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