Shaun the Sheep

We’ve just returned from a thoroughly satisfying trip to see Shaun the Sheep.

And I realise that I may be cheating talking about a movie in a “reading” blog but I think visual forms of storytelling can be just as valuable in encouraging literacy skills – particularly if you have a reluctant reader.

We don’t go to the cinema often and there have been occasional outings that have left me really disappointed with children’s movie-making but not this one!

Shaun the Sheep was a delight: daft, charming, funny, dramatic and heartwarming. Everything it needed to be and more.

Toby laughed out loud at many points and I even raised a chuckle several times – even at the scatalogical stuff of which there was plenty to amuse a six-year-old boy.

Although the plot was utterly daft, it was predictable when it needed to be but also had the capacity to surprise and delight.

It was packed full of feeling too. I particularly liked the empathy that the central character of Shaun demonstrated towards an unloved warthog. It was a subtle subplot in an action-packed storyline but as a parent I do like to see some heartwarming messages coming through.

It occurred to me watching Shaun the Sheep that being entertained and amused is reason enough to see a movie with a child, but as with books there is greater educational value wrapped up as fun – stories teach children to care, and Shaun the Sheep is a film that doesn’t work too hard to really make you care.

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