Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Donkeys by Adelheid Dahimene and Heide Stollinger

This quirky picture book tells the story of two old donkeys, Jenny and Jack, who have been together for twenty five years. However, when Jack sleeps through their 25th wedding anniversary, Jenny gets mad and stomps off. Jack decides he can easily find another donkey just like Jenny. Similarly, Jenny feels there's plenty of fish in the sea. So they each set off in search of a new mate, meeting a cow, goat and a camel - only to discover that in fact, their best match is really each other.

What could have been a delightful children's book with its hilarious, expressive drawings of the donkeys is marred by both a weak storyline and some questionable text. If Jenny and Jack are so perfect for each other and have been together so long, would they really fight over a missed anniversary?  Probably not. And although children are not likely to comprehend the references to "horsing around", some adults may feel uncomfortable reading this text to young children.

Heide Stollinger's delightful pencil crayon illustrations capture a wide range of emotions, making these two donkeys seem almost human. The facial expressions are truly wonderful.

Adelheid Dahimene was born in Austria and won several awards for her children's books. She passed away in 2010.

Book Details:
Donkeys by Adelheid Dahimene and illustrated by Heide Stollinger
New York: NorthSouth Books an imprint of NordSud Verlag AG, Switzerland  2014

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