Saturday, November 26, 2011

Review: The Donkey’s First Christmas

Last Christmas I was on the hunt for picture books that told the nativity story in unique ways.  Esmé has heard it 1,001 times, and in fact put on her own 20-minute felt production of the story last year that I am STILL trying to cut into a 5-minute video.  Anyway, while the story never grows old, I do enjoy finding new perspectives on it.

Enter The Donkey’s First Christmas…


Armed with a sense of humor and fun, The Donkey’s First Christmas by Susanne T Schroder presents the Nativity in a fresh and exciting way - from the viewpoint of a very unlikely hero...

Children will delight to see the adorable (if a little cheeky) donkey overcome his stubbornness; and marvel at how such a seemingly useless mule can become quite so useful.

As the children watch the donkey unwittingly use his talents to major avail; they will be encouraged to see that what they have, and who they are, can make a significant difference too...

About the Author:

Susanne T Schroder is 41, and married with 2 boys of 5 and 9 years. She has a BA in Art and English Literature, a 4 year course in Pedagogy (roughly translated - ‘How Children Learn’) from Copenhagen, and an MA in Children's Illustration from Wrexham University. She writes and illustrates her own books and has had 4 picture books published since 2003. Memories of her grandmother reading out her countless made-up poems like 'How The Forget-me-not Got His Name' have influenced her recent Christmas books - as have the old Christmas legends like: 'How The Robin Got His Red Breast’.

Recommended Age:  2 years and up 
List Price:  $9.99
To Purchase/For More Info: Tilli Publishing

Esmé’s Synopsis:

This book is about a donkey.  It’s a Bible story.  The most meaningful part was about Jesus – when He was born.

I didn’t like the part when it was over.

AND, I didn’t like that Mary was nice to the bad donkey.  You should make a donkey be good by pulling it with a rope, not by being nice to it.  (leading into a long theological discussion…)

What Mom Liked:

This is a seriously sweet, whimsical, humorous, meaningful book.

  • imageA GREAT read-aloud!  The rhyming is fun and flows, and we are awesome “e-Or”-ers here! 
  • Fun illustrations.  Just adorable (thought gender-neutral).  The font fits the illustrations perfectly.  And the text/illustration mix (less words on some pages than others, etc.) adds to the read-aloud fun.
  • Easy to relate to.  What kid isn’t a little self-centered, stubborn, and bratty at times, trying to get out of doing chores etc. etc.?!
  • Sweet message.  Yes, it’s the message of Christ’s birth.  But the stubborn-donkey perspective adds another dimension.  Kindness transforms.  God uses the unlikeliest of us.  God makes the impossible possible.  The lessons aren’t spelled out, but lay the groundwork for meaningful discussion.

“You see now little donkey -
What a special thing you’ve done?
By helping carry Mary -
You helped God’s precious Son!”


Thanks to the author for providing an ebook for review, and to BookCrash for coordinating the review.  We are not being paid for this review, and all opinions are our own.


Giggly Girls said...

Ooh, sounds neat. I'm always on the lookout for new Christmas books.