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Reviewed by Constance Stadler for Readers' Favorite
My Donkey by Gregory Grant tells the story of an engaging journey filled with abundant twists and turns. The story begins when Sam the Donkey and Greg (‘the helpful one’) meet a stranger named Thomas and offer to help him find his lost sheep. As Thomas explains, when he moved his flock up Disappearing Hill–where everything disappears–they were likely stolen by the evil giant, Gregor the Terrible. In searching for the lost flock, surprise encounters and a wealth of discoveries abound. The search leads to many byways, ultimately leading to the giant’s castle. Suddenly, a mysterious character, the Purple Shepherd is introduced as the one who does Gregor’s bidding, making the situation more ominous. However, by the end of the book, the problems are solved, Sam and Greg then move on, happy to help anyone in need along the way.
Gregory Grant structures My Donkey in such a way that a young reader cannot possibly anticipate what’s going to come next. Overall, this is highly entertaining, and with all the changes in plot, character development, and the overall quality of the book, it deserves more than one reading. There is a wonderful Alice in Wonderland feeling: things happen for seemingly no reason or logic, but somehow, they all make sense. Photographs depicting parts of the story lend credibility and dimension. This book would appeal to young children and also offer a rich experience if an adult and child read it together. The message of My Donkey resounds throughout the story. There is great reward in selflessly giving to others and the worth of persevering despite obstacles. This is a lesson that takes on special meaning when learned through this tale of adventure and sharing.