Bea Rocks the Flock, by Victoria Jamieson, was published in May, 2009. I first saw a copy in a vendor booth at Knitters’ Day Out in September. My local public library has it, so I can review it! It’s been about a year since my last fiber-themed children’s book review…
This is a cute book with whimsical, colorful illustrations. It has the same premise as Woolbur – an individual sheep disturbs the flock by expressing her/himself and not blending in. Like Woolbur, Bea despairs at being told that sheep cannot be unique. So she leaves the flock and heads for the big city, in search of a place where others appreciate her. Perhaps predictably, once she reaches the big city, she has a hard time finding her niche. She tries lots of silly things (from being a cloud, to posing as one of the lions at the New York Public Library, to participating in a dog show). At the dog show, she wins a prize for being the Most Unique Dog. Getting this prize makes her doubt the Rule of Sheepdom (that sheep are not unique). She misses her friends, so she returns home. It turns out that her friends missed her, too, and are happy that she has returned. Together, they make a new Rule of Sheepdom: Beeeeeee yourself.
I read this with my 5-year-old and 7-year-old. It maintained their interest. When asked what his favorite part was, Boy 2 said “when she goes home to her friends.”
This book has a few fiber arts references. When Bea prepares to leave the flock, she loads up her backpack with wool dye, yarn, and her lucky knitting needles. She uses the dye to transform herself into a pink poodle for the dog show, and she knits a rope with which to hang herself in a tree. In the end, though, I would put this book in the category “books with characters who just happen to be sheep” rather than the “books about actual sheep and what happens to their fiber.” It’s cute – but Woolbur already stole my heart.