Pete the Sheep by Jackie French and illustrated by Bruce Whatley, paperback picture book, published by HarperCollinsPublishers in 2004.
Shaun is a shearer, and Pete is his pet sheep. Pete helps Shaun in the shearing shed. The other shearers have sheepdogs to help them, but when Shaun and Pete come along, suddenly all the sheep want to see Shaun. The shearers kick Shaun and Pete out of the shearing shed. Shaun doesn’t know what to do then, as shearing is his life, but Pete has an idea to start a Sheep Salon for funky sheep-cuts.
This is a very Australian book, and we love it. The illustrations are amusing, and we love the special hair cuts the sheep get. The story is fun and different with simple language. Until I’d read this book I’d never thought about sheep (or other animals) getting such unique hair cuts. And it has a happy and inclusive ending, where everything works out just right, which is important to my kids, they like their books to end well. My preschooler particularly likes that when Pete says “Baaaaa!” he’s actually talking to the other sheep, but Shaun can understand him too. Suitable for young children such as preschoolers and lower primary school children, we like to read this book together.