Sunday, November 24, 2013

The Catholic Company Book Review: A Donkey's Tale

A Donkey's Tale by Stefano Gorla, illustrated by Angela Marchetti

This sweetly illustrated book tells the story of Jesus' life, beginning with the Nativity, and continuing through the Resurrection and Ascension, from the point of view of the fictional donkey, Ladan.

The book retells many familiar Gospel stories. Some of the quotations seem to be directly from a Bible, but others are obvious (and sometimes jarring) paraphrases. Overall, the stories are faithful to the meanings and I would willingly share them with my children.

Each story, however, ends with the phrase "...I was there." The description of the book says:
The phrase "…because I was there" is repeated by the donkey at the end of each story, emphasizing the importance of being a witness of and to the faith. Sensitively expressed and colorfully illustrated, A Donkey's Tale encourages children to also be witnesses to the faith by sharing what they have seen and heard about Jesus with others.
I guess I can understand the author's goal, but I found myself frustrated that the truth of the Gospel was contrasted with the obviously fictional viewpoint of the donkey with words that indicated we should believe the Gospel story because the donkey was telling it and he was a witness to the events. We do not believe these stories because of the witness of a donkey and I felt like those repeated words detracted from the book.

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an objective review. This review was written as part of the Catholic book reviewer program from The Catholic Company. Visit The Catholic Company to find more information on A Donkey's Tale. The Catholic Company is the best resource for all your seasonal needs such as First Communion gifts as well as ideas and gifts for the special papal Year of Faith.

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