By: Adele Colvin
Illustrated by: Peyton Carmichael
Publisher: Pelican Publishing Company
Publication Date: 2009
Reviewed by: Bill Alberts
Review Date: February 2010
How do you get young children excited to learn about the events leading up to Easter? Author Adele Colvin has come up with a very clever way to do just that - tell the Easter miracle through the eyes of a donkey.
The Donkey's Easter Tale begins in a cozy barn, on a very rainy day. Grandpa Donkey is cuddled up with his two grandchildren. Finally the two youngsters are staying still long enough so that grandpa can tell them a story. Grandpa decides to tell his grandchildren about the time, many years earlier, when he had the honor of being ridden by Jesus. You see, Grandpa Donkey was THE donkey that Jesus rode into Jerusalem on Palm Sunday.
The donkey stayed with Jesus and the disciples throughout Holy Week and recounts all the important events of that time to his grandchildren. Children will learn about the moneychangers in the temple, how Jesus cured the sick, and how Jesus taught through stories called parables (Donkey even tells one of those parables, being sure to explain the meaning). Soon Donkey learns of what Judas plans to do and how Peter will deny the Lord three times. Staying in the background during the trial and crucifixion, he gentle reflects on what has happened. Donkey's tear filled eyes reflect the Lord on the cross; to perhaps avoid upsetting young readers, we are never shown a full-page picture of Jesus on the cross.
Donkey soon accompanies Mary to Jesus' tomb where they see that his body has been moved. What could have happened? Donkey and his human companions soon realize that Jesus has risen! They rush to Galilee to meet their savior.
The Donkey's Easter Tale handles the story of Holy Week and Easter with sensitivity while educating. Told in the first person by "Donkey" (he's never given a name), the reader will discover what is happening along with Donkey. Much like a child, this large eared equine is at first confused by some of the situations (he heard Jesus say that Peter would deny his Lord, but why would Peter do that?). With bright illustrations that include the Donkey in every picture, children will be drawn into this important story and want to read it start to finish.
Quill says: The Donkey's Easter Tale is a beautiful way to teach youngsters about Holy Week and the miracle of Easter.