Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

Argyle

Argyle

Barbara Brooks Wallace
Illustrator:  John Sandford 
Picture Book
For ages 5 to 8
Boyds Mills Press, 2004   ISBN: 978-1563970436

Argyle was a sheep living in Scotland, and he was like all the other sheep around him. He behaved like them, he looked like them, and that was the way he liked it. Just like most sheep, Argyle liked to move with the flock most of the time, but there were occasions when he liked to wander off on his own for a little while.

One day, when he was off on his own, he found a place where colored flowers grew. The flowers tasted “outstanding.” In fact, they tasted so good that Argyle kept on going back to eat more day after day, and he did not tell anyone about the flowers either.

One morning the sheepherder’s wife noticed that one of the sheep in the flock had a “many-colored” fleece. It was Argyle of course. Quickly the sheepherder sheared his fleece and the sheepherder’s wife knitted up some wool socks. The result was astonishing. The wool produced a wonderful plaid design in red, blue, yellow and green. Needless to say Argyle was an instant celebrity but it was not a role that the sheep care for one little bit.

In this whimsical and deliciously funny picture book, the author and illustrator have created a wonderful story about a very ordinary sheep who has an extraordinary – and very unwanted – adventure. Wonderful soft illustrations perfectly capture the serenity of Argyle’s beloved peaceful countryside, and the madness of his life during the period of his most remarkable transformation.