When Sal the sheep is bonked on the head by an unidentified falling object, it can only mean one thing: Lord Aries, the Sheep of all Sheepdom is in trouble, and the sheep posse must save him. Little do the sheep know that the mysterious object is actually a cell phone dropped by a couple of baaaaad bank robbers who will do anything to get it back. And a couple of woolbags aren't going to stand in their way! (Goodreads)
Review by Laura Madsen, mom, veterinarian, and writer
Oxo, Links, Jaycey, Sal and Wills are rare-breed sheep living on an idyllic English farm. One day an object falls from the sky, hitting Sal’s head. Wills, an orphan lamb raised in the farmhouse kitchen, recognizes the object as a cell phone. Sal, however, has studied sheep prophecy and believes that the object is the mythical Baaton, tool of the great Lord Aries. The prophecy states:
For without the Baaton's magic rays,
The Ram of Rams will die in days.
Only they can save his life,
And the world from pain and strife.They must be warriors, brave and true!
Sheeply warriors through and through!
Sal insists that the five are the sheep of legend, destined to return the Baaton to Aries. Declaring, “We shall use all the resourcefulness and cunning for which we sheep are rightly famous,” the sheep set out on a quest, although they aren’t really sure where they’re going.
From a hilltop field, Tony the neighbor watches the sheep begin their journey. After a golden craft (a hot-air balloon) hovers over the sheep and they disappear (fallen down an embankment), he is convinced that aliens have abducted the sheep, and calls the local television station.
The flock’s owners, Tod and his grandma, are distraught to learn their sheep have been abducted by aliens, and are even more upset when they discover that Gran’s savings account, which she had intended to offer as a reward for the sheep’s safe return, has been emptied. Tod, Gran, Tony, Nisha the television reporter, and the sheep become entangled in a bank embezzlement scheme.
I’m a fan of quirky British humor (Monty Python, Red Dwarf, Douglas Adams, etc.) and I think this middle-grade novel is a great way to introduce kids to British humor. Kids who like the Shaun the Sheeptelevision show will like this book.
Language: none (well, except the sheep swear, “Oh my grass!”)
Adult themes: theft, betrayal