Wednesday, February 1, 2012

The Donkey That No One Could Ride by Anthony DeStefano and illustrated by Richard Cowdrey

This little donkey is very small and weak. He isn't strong enough to support people, or carry things, or really do much of anything! His owner is fed up and decides to get rid of him. What's a poor donkey to do? But when two men approach him and tell him that they have a special job for him, he has no idea how his life is going to change!

The animals in the Christmas Nativity and the donkey who carries Mary and Joseph to Bethlehem have long been popular in children's stories, so it's nice to see a new story about Christ's life as told through the eyes of an animal. The illustrations in this book are very strong; there are humorous pages (like the donkey in a ditch, or being hefted into the air by a heavy load) and there are sad pages (like when the donkey cries or is sent away by his owner). Hints in the background also suggest that while this (spoiler alert!) ends up being a joyous time for the donkey, it's a very different time for Jesus (see the determined expression on Jesus' face as they enter the city or and the three crosses in the background in the last pages of the book). This makes it a good choice for families to read and discuss together. I can see this being a favourite Easter gift for religious families, and a popular seasonal pick that public libraries might want to have on their shelves.

I received an advance review copy from NetGalley courtesy of Harvest House Publishers.

Check out Anthony DeStefano and Richard Cowdrey's websites.

Find it at IndieBound.

Read it with:
Animal Lullabies by Pam Conrad
Animals of the Bible by Mary Hoffman
The Donkey's Christmas Song by Nancy Tafuri
This Little Prayer of Mine by Anthony DeStefano
Little Star by Anthony DeStefano

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