Thursday, June 11, 2009

The Story of Jesus as Told in The Donkeys' Tales

The Story of Jesus as Told in The Donkeys’ Tales, written by Adele Bibb Colvin, offers a unique perspective on the life of Jesus, from His birth through the Triumphal Entry the week before His crucifixion. A young donkey listens to his mother tell the story of “The Great Miracle” as witnessed by his grandmother. His grandmother was the donkey who carried Mary to Bethlehem where Jesus was born. She later carried Him and his family as they fled to Egypt. There the young donkey's mother was born. She witness Jesus grow up and even helped Mary and Joseph find Jesus when He was left behind in Jerusalem. As the little donkey listens to the stories, he becomes jealous, wishing he had been born sooner so he could be part of the stories, too.

After the little donkey grows up he goes to live with a family in Bethany. One day strange men come to take him away from his master. They claim "The Lord has need of it." The donkey can hardly believe it when Jesus climbs on his back, the same Jesus his grandmother cared for as a baby. As he carries his Holy Passenger through crowds shouting "Hosanna!" the donkey sings his grandmother's song to himself. "Grandmother, wherever you are, I hope you can see us! I'm taking good care of Him for you."

Throughout the text, the donkeys sing a song to remind them of these stories. The lyrics are combined with sheet music at the end of the book.

The illustrations by Peyton Hamilton Carmichael feature gentle characters depicted in a Celtic-like style of frames and borders appears on several pages.

What I Like: I like the idea that even the animals tell the stories of Christ, that they rejoice over all He’s done for us. I also like the inclusion of the song and music at the end.

What I Dislike: The illustrations consistently show both Jesus and Mary with golden halos. This is a problem if you’re not Catholic or if you don’t believe Mary was/is deity. A halo is never attributed to Joseph. Also, some elements of the donkeys' tales are not harmonious with Scripture. The book shows the wise men visiting Jesus and Mary in the stable of His birth, rather than in a home much later, as described in the Bible. It also attributes the wise men's decision not to return to Herod as human wisdom rather than the result of an angel's instructions.

Overall Rating: Good, if you're Catholic. If you're not Catholic, you might give it a lower rating.

Age Appeal: 4-8

Publisher Info: Pelican Publishing, 2008; ISBN: 1589806271; Hardback; $15.95

Buy it direct from the publisher for $12.76!

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