Mary's Little Donkey

tr. from Swedish. illus. by Hélène Muller. 32p. Floris. Sept. 2016. Tr $17.95. ISBN 9781782502944.
Gr 1–3—Widely translated since its original 1962 publication, this Swedish "spin-off" Bible story has now been abridged and beautifully illustrated in a realistic style, rich with detail. Mary (soon to be the mother of Jesus) meets a scruffy, lazy donkey while fetching water from the Nazareth community well one day. When her considerate husband Joseph buys a donkey to help Mary with her arduous duties, it turns out to be the same one Mary has befriended. Responding to her kindness, the beast cleans up nicely and has an attitude adjustment. After an eventful journey to Bethlehem, he guards the Christ child while the holy family sleeps, and henceforth vows to always watch over the family he has grown to love. Gentle moral lessons are imparted.
VERDICT Purchase for communities desiring uplifting, child-friendly holiday fare with a religious bent.

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