Wednesday, March 20, 2013

A Big Day for Jack

A Big Day for Jack, written by Marilyn Schuler, is the story of a donkey. But, Jack isn’t just any donkey; he’s a very special donkey. He’s the one chosen to carry Jesus into Jerusalem on Palm Sunday.

Like most donkeys, Jack is stubborn. But he is also disobedient and destructive. He doesn’t like to behave. He wants to play all day, go to bed whenever he feels like it, never obey, and never be gentle or helpful.

One day, a few minutes after Jack has once again rebelled, two men approach Jack and lead him away by his halter. Although he doesn’t really resist, he makes up his mind he won’t cooperate with whatever these two have planned.

The two men lead him to a place where a group of people are gathering. When they put a blanket on his back, he shies away. But, then Jesus approaches Jack and places his hand on Jack’s back. Jack can feel how gentle and loving Jesus is. Jesus tells Jack that Jack is needed to fulfill a prophecy about a king riding a donkey. Jack says he doesn’t want to help. Jesus tells Jack that he has seen Jack when he was misbehaving. Jesus goes on to tell Jack that he needs Jack to cooperate, because “I love you and have a special purpose for your life.”

Although Jack is still unsure what to do, he can tell that Jesus is sincere. Jesus has seen Jack misbehave and Jesus loves him anyway.

Jack calms down and Jesus climbs onto his back. As they walk through the gates of Jerusalem, the crowds grow bigger. People spread their coats on the road for Jack to walk over. Others wave palm branches and laid them on the road, too. Jack no longer felt like rebelling. He feels like he is part of something special, that he really was chosen for a special purpose. When Jesus eventually dismounts, he pats Jack on the back, thanks him for his cooperation, and tells him to be good.

Then the two men lead Jack back to his mother. She wants to know everything that happened. He tells her, “Oh, Mother. I met a king who knows everything about me and still chose me to ride on in the parade. He wants me to be good. I think I will, for Him.”

The watercolor illustrations by Samantha Kickingbird are expressive and work well with the text.

The author uses these verses as a reference for the story: “Matthew 21:1-11 and John 12:12-15.

What I Like: Everything.

What I Dislike: Nothing.

Overall Rating: Excellent.

Age Appeal: 4-8.

Publisher Info: Tate Publishing, 2011; ISBN: 9781617775956; Paperback, $8.99.

Or buy at $5.67.
Buy the Kindle edition for $5.39. 
Special Info: This book comes with a free audio download. Information on where and how to download can be found on the last page.

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