The first book in the six-part Cecil & Friends series of children's picture books by Andrew McDonough features the title character, Cecil the Lost Sheep. In this version of the lost sheep parable told by Jesus in Luke 15:1-7, there is a man who herds sheep because giraffes are not available in the Middle East. He has 100 sheep that all have westernized names, including Annette, Kevin, Emily, Meredith, Michael...and Cecil. Cecil gets bored with just eating grass and having a drink at the river. He dreams of running away so that he can sing with a hard rock band and drive a motorcycle and wear a headband and sunglasses. So, he sneaks away one day and hides out in the mountains. Unfortunately, he gets lost and hungry and scared. He wishes the shepherd would find him, but he also worries that if the shepherd does find him, he will punish Cecil severely for running away. Instead, the shepherd follows Cecil's tracks, finds him, brings him home and throws a party, in which all the sheep have balloons, ice cream and cake, party hats, and soft drinks.
Obviously, this is a far cry from the scriptural version of the parable of the lost sheep as told by Jesus. So, either you are going to condemn the book for its outright silliness, or you are going to accept it for its cartoon characters, humorous exaggeration, and its method of starting a discussion about how Jesus (the shepherd) wishes to save everyone. Helpful discussion questions are actually printed in the back of the book, as well as the original version of the Bible story. Combining the two may make for a nice night of family reading. – Dr. Dennis E. Hensley, www.ChristianBookPreviews.com
A shepherd goes on a search for Cecil, one lost sheep from his flock of 100! And when the shepherd returns with the lost sheep, they all rejoice. Read this story based on Jesus’ parable of the Lost Sheep in Luke 15:1-7.