Early Book Review: The Sheep That No One Could Find by Anthony DeStefano, Richard Cowdrey

The Sheep That No One Could Find is a picturebook written by Anthony DeStefano and illustrated by Richard Cowdrey. This picturebook is based on the parable of the lost sheep and is currently scheduled for release on February 1 2014. This take on the old story offers more adventure than you might expect, and is best suited for children three years old and up. Richard Cowdrey's bright illustrations bring the tale of repentance and forgiveness is brought to life.

The Sheep That No One Could Find is a well illustrated story that follows one adventurous lamb that is eager to see the world well beyond his shepherd's pastures. During his big adventure the little lamb faces a hungry wolf, angry lion. and lying snake but in the end is saved by his dedicated shepherd. The story is an adventurous version of the parable, told from lost lamb's point of view. Young readers (or listeners) are likely to see a bit of their own desire to explore in the story, and the knowledge that the good shepherd will always come for them. While this is obviously a religious book, I think parents of a more secular bent can share this book with their children as well, noting that they will always love and care for their children just as the shepherd does.

The Sheep That No One Could Find is a good Christian picturebook that would be well suited for home and church libraries. I think the story will warm the hearts on many households, but the scripture based message is very much a part of the story, since it is a parable retelling, so those that are not of the Christian faith might find the message a bit over bearing. However, like most well done stories about love and hope, a heartfelt discussion about how much a parent loves a child could easily make this book more universal.
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