The best sheep books

1 authors have picked their favorite books about sheep and why they recommend each book. Soon, you will be able to filter this list by genre, age group, and more. Sign up here to follow our story as we build a better way to discover books.

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Book cover of Sheepish (Wolf Under Cover)

Sheepish (Wolf Under Cover)

By Helen Yoon,

Why this book?

This story begins with a familiar premise – a wolf disguises himself in sheep’s clothing in order to get close to his woolly neighbors, and hopefully, eventually, maybe eat them. What makes this story so funny is the sheep know all along their new friend is a wolf, but they fully accept him into their community anyway. This simple act of friendship makes all the difference. I love books that make me laugh and share powerful truths about the world. This story does exactly that. You will giggle your way through this stilly book, and you’ll leave with the understanding…

From the list:

The best picture books with fiercely funny friendships

Book cover of Henry Moore's Sheep Sketchbook

Henry Moore's Sheep Sketchbook

By Henry Moore,

Why this book?

Where else can we find 159 sheep and 49 lambs sketched by a celebrated modern sculptor? This flock is a treatise of graphic easiness and uncompromising observation exercises. A must-see for anyone armed with a ballpoint pen and a rural disposition. There are also texts by Moore himself and Kenneth Clark, the art historian dethroned by Berger as the great British Broadcasting cultural oracle. Although Clark suggests that Moore’s drawings show some love for the sheep, the latter’s text is a love letter to drawing, simply.  

From the list:

The best books on unassumingly sketching the world around us

Book cover of A Wild Sheep Chase

A Wild Sheep Chase

By Haruki Murakami,

Why this book?

Quite literally a bizarre animal adventure (the original Japanese title translates to “An Adventure Surrounding Sheep”), this charming novel was my first foray into the dream-like storytelling of Murakami. Sometimes sleepy and comforting, sometimes thrilling and sometimes downright brain-bending, this tale of a couple’s mission to track down a sheep of mythic proportions had me doing laps around my house, unable to put it down, but in desperate need to get up off the couch (who else spent the holidays in lockdown?).

Speaking of lockdown, and the lack of agency many of us feel right now as we enter the…

From the list:

The best books to take you on a bizarre animal adventure

Book cover of Sleep, Merel, Sleep

Sleep, Merel, Sleep

By Silke Stein,

Why this book?

This fantasy novel is about a girl who can’t cope with the lack of attention she’s receiving since her baby brother was born. He is very ill and has to use an inhaler so Merel’s parents are always tired and don’t notice her. The story is engrossing and heartwarming as Merel has become so angsty that she refuses to sleep and does nothing but scream. Eventually, she loses the ability to sleep at all. During a trip to a fantasy land to try to get her lost sleep back so she can be normal, Merel learns to accept her family…

From the list:

The best amazing children’s adventure books about family and exploring

Book cover of Quest for the Golden Hare

Quest for the Golden Hare

By Bamber Gascoigne,

Why this book?

From a wild sheep chase to a grand old treasure hunt that gripped a nation, the Quest for the Golden Hare tells the real-life story of one of the most famous book-related escapades in recent memory. 

In 1979, British artist Kit Williams published Masquerade – a cryptic storybook containing clues to the whereabouts of an 18-carat gold hare trinket that Williams buried somewhere in the English countryside. Author Bamber Gascoigne was the only other person present at the burial, and was tasked with documenting the frankly bonkers lengths the crazed fans would go to uncover it.

I’m loath to mention…

From the list:

The best books to take you on a bizarre animal adventure

Book cover of Maximus the Platypus Finds His Family

Maximus the Platypus Finds His Family

By Andi Cann,

Why this book?

Maximus is a cute fellow, who is much larger than the average platypus. Max has a loving family, but he endures a trauma when his bed floats away from home during a rainstorm and he loses track of this family. Max encounters other animals who have some of the same traits. For example, Deedee Duck has a bill like Max and similar feet, but she’s not related. Soon Max meets Ollie the Otter, hoping they were part of the same family. Ollie admits their tails look alike, but still; they are not related. In the end, all of the animals…

From the list:

The best books encouraging children to dream and believe in themselves

Book cover of The Shepherd's Life: Modern Dispatches from an Ancient Landscape

The Shepherd's Life: Modern Dispatches from an Ancient Landscape

By James Rebanks,

Why this book?

James Rebanks was born in England’s Lake District into a family who valued the hard work and ancient traditions of shepherding in the high hills. Later, he winds up at Oxford, seemingly headed for a life of financial success in the city, and realizes that while the world at large may value such success, he values the quiet, steady, solitary shepherd’s life and chooses that instead. He beautifully depicts a life steeped in tradition, honoring the seasons, and filled with characters. I loved learning about a slice of life that I knew little about.

From the list:

The best books about making huge life changes and the stories behind them

Book cover of Will Giraffe Laugh?

Will Giraffe Laugh?

By Hilary Leung,

Why this book?

The fact that I’ve read this book to my son nearly every night for the past year and am not sick of it yet is a testament to how charming it is. This book is about a group of friends and one of them, Giraffe, is very grumpy. The friends take turns in trying, then failing, to cheer him up, until finally they all become sad and it’s up to Giraffe to cheer up his friends. The story is a great reminder that our emotions are not just ours. They’re contagious and affect those we love most. Also, if I…

From the list:

The best children's books about the value of friendship

Book cover of Independent People

Independent People

By Halldor Laxness,

Why this book?

To understand Icelanders, I believe you need to understand Bjartur. Bjartur is the independent hero of Halldór Laxness’s greatest novel, Independent People. The book is set at the beginning of the twentieth century. Over eighteen years as a shepherd, Bjartur saves the money to buy his own farm on some very marginal land. Bjartur’s life is a struggle to eke a living out of this farm, called Summerhouses. He marries twice, faces starvation and destitution, but never gives up on his dream of remaining an independent farmer. He is stubborn to the point of cruelty. He is also a…

From the list:

The best books to read if you want to understand Iceland

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