Diana Kimpton, as many of you will know, is a prolific writer for children with over forty books published. Many of them have to do with horses, but she's also very keen on science fiction, declaring with pride that she has watched Doctor Who 'since the very first episode'.
The Green Sheep is a story about aliens. But these are not hostile aliens. They - well, 'it', to start off
with - are sheep. And they're green. And they're great fans of a terrestrial soap opera, which is the reason they're here in the first place...
Paul Dane lives with his parents on the outskirts of a village. His father has recently got a new job with a firm called DETOPS, and as a result, he doesn't seem to have time to do things with Paul any more. One evening Paul goes for a walk by himself - and sees a strange beam of light. Next thing he knows, there's a sheep in the field where there wasn't one before. It's bright green. And It can talk.
It tells Paul that it is indeed an alien, but a friendly one. It knows what Earth is like - it knows about men in suits, and it doesn't want to be taken to anybody's leader - and so it asks Paul for help. Kind-hearted Paul agrees, and then his troubles begin. One of them is that, due to a technical malfunction (one of several), whenever the sheep falls asleep, it becomes two sheep. And so on, and so on... the alien isn't due to be picked up for a month, and Paul realises that by that time, there'll be millions of them. Where can he keep them all? How will he hide them? How can he feed them? And then the men in suits arrive - and one of them is Paul's dad.
I read this with my eight year-old grandson. It made him laugh out loud, and he didn't want me to stop. He doesn't so far read much by himself, but I think this book would be one to help him feel confident about reading alone: the language is uncomplicated, the pace is brisk, and the narrative drives you from one chapter to the next. It's funny and warm and it has a reassuring message. Just the job - for any child, but particularly for those who are a little bit worried about the tiger on the landing or the monster under the bed.
The Green Sheep is published by Kubby Bridge Books, and is available as a paperback and as an ebook.
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