Monday 19 January 2015

Shaun the Sheep: The Beast of Soggy Moor

Shaun the Sheep: The Beast of Soggy Moor by Martin Howard, illustrated by Andy Janes (Walker Books)
PB RRP $9.95
ISBN 9781406357721
Reviewed by Anastasia Gonis

In the second book of this terrific series from the TV show Shaun the Sheep, the zany sheep Nuts who is always getting into trouble, is introduced at the beginning amongst the other characters in the story, plus the map of Mossy Bottom Farm in intricate detail. We also learn that the farmer is clumsy and accident- prone and that the sheep are entertained by these short-comings.

A creepy shadow is sighted on Mossy Bottom Farm at night by Bitzer when he goes out to check the chickens. He’s convinced it’s a beast from Soggy Moor. When a cat goes missing soon after, Bitzer believes it is the work of the beast.

Scared senseless and fearing for all their lives, Bitzer ropes Shaun into helping him track down the beast that threatens. The ingenious Shaun designs an elaborate trap out of scraps of junk to catch the shadowy form. Only Nuts is crazy enough to offer himself as bait. This results in chaos, mayhem and misinterpretation.

Some of the story is told in pictures within comic strips without words.  The story addresses important issues frequently experienced by children such as fear of darkness, and false imaginings attached to the unknown. This book can be used to initiate discussion between parents/teachers and children when addressing such concerns. Or, it can simply be read and enjoyed for its clever construction, humour, and witty text. This series is ideal for the 6+ age group. 

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