Donkey Books for Children
Interesting facts about donkeys and fictional and real-life stories. Engaging and educational donkey books for children of all ages.
DONKEY BOOKS FOR CHILDREN – ENGLISH LANGUAGE
Tink The Bravest Donkey Jessica Anselment, illustrated by Andy Griffiths (PVDR, 2018). Tink wants to fit in with the rest of the herd but can’t because the others bully him for wearing a boot. When Tink is left all alone to fend for himself against a mean, old dog, he musters up all of his bravery to save the day and bring them all closer together. 32 full color pages featuring original art by Andy Griffiths. All proceeds go to Peaceful Valley Donkey Rescue. (Age 3-8).
Will You Be My Val-Equine? Jessica Anselment, illustrated by Andy Griffiths (PVDR, 2020). Come along with Little Donkey as he searches for his Valentine, where, along the way he learns that, even if we’re all a little different on the outside, we’re a lot more similar than we might realize! (Age 2-5).
Bindy: The Tiny Donkey With a Big Heart Ruth Bourgeois (2020). The true story of Bindy, a miniature therapy donkey who lived at Equine Spirit Sanctuary in Ranchos de Taos, New Mexico, and his life there with all his family and friends. Find on Amazon UK or go to Amazon Smile and designate ESS as your charity to help support the sanctuary’s Read to the Donkeys therapy programme!
The Donkey Doctor Dragana Vucic Dekic Ph.D., illustrated by One day, a boy comes to visit an island with his parents. In the crowd of tourists who take photos with tired donkeys and ride them in the unbearable heat, he shows the donkey compassion and promises to return one day to help. A story that teaches children that donkeys can be more than just entertainment for people. They are our friends who deserve to be treated kindly. Available in English, German, French, Italian and Spanish. (All ages).
Biblioburro: A True Story from Colombia Jeanette Winter (Beach Lane Books, 2011). Luis loves to read, but soon his house in Colombia is so full of books there’s barely room for the family. What to do? Then he comes up with the perfect solution–a traveling library! He buys two donkeys and travels with them throughout the land, bringing books and reading to the children in faraway villages. (Age 6-9).
Waiting for the Biblioburro Monica Brown, illustrated by John Parra (Tricycle Press, 2011). Ana loves stories. She often makes them up to help her little brother fall asleep. But in her small village there are only a few books and she has read them all. One morning, Ana wakes up to the clip-clop of hooves, and there before her is a traveling library resting on the backs of two burros all the books a little girl could dream of. Inspired by the heroic real-life librarian Luis Soriano.
A New Home for Dominick: (Dominick the Donkey Book 10) Shirley Alarie, illustrated by Ileana Nadel (Shirley Alarie, 2016). Poor Dominick the donkey was mistreated by his owner, so he is scared and confused when he arrives at RVR Horse Rescue. An unlikely friend, Charity the old horse, tries to convince Dominick that the people of RVR Horse Rescue are good and loving. (Age 3-7).
Make Way For Donkeys A true story of two donkeys saved from a terrible fate and sent to Colorado where they became Pack Burro Racing donkeys. Pack Burro Racing originated when two gold-miners found gold at the same location and raced back to stake their mining claim with the local town office. Each year there are 10 races in Colorado where thousands of spectators and hundreds of competitors hit the dusty trails with their donkeys.
A New Family for Dominick: (Dominick the Donkey Book2) Shirley Alarie, illustrated by Ileana Nadel (Shirley Alarie, 2016). Dominick and Charity had both been saved by the wonderful people of RVR Horse Rescue. The donkey and old horse quickly became inseparable best buddies – that is, until Charity was adopted and moved away with her new family. Poor Dominick was sad and lonely without his friend. Will he be able to make new friends and be happy again? Could he ever get a new family of his own? (Age 3-7).
Donkeys James Maclaine, illustrated by Jeremy Norton (Usborne Children’s Books, 2017). A delightful book on donkeys for beginner readers, packed full of friendly donkey photographs. (Age 3+).
The Arab & the Donk Patricia Probert Gott and Grace Makley (CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform, 2016). In this book, a rhyming text and a lively palette combine with the balance of drama and comedy in this story of an Arabian horse in Maine becoming lifelong friends with a rescued donkey from Texas. Sani, the Arabian, tells his story; Daisy Donkey tells hers, then they relate their combined tales of getting to know one another and togetherness. Sani and Daisy are based on real animals owned by the author. (Age 4-6).
Daisy Donkey Does Not Bray Patricia Probert Gott and Laura Ashton, CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform, February 2018). A variety of farm animals try to teach Daisy Donkey to bray, the usual sound that donkeys make, “Hee-haw, hee haw.” Colorfully enhanced simple images help young children learn to identify various animals and their sounds. (Age 5-6).
Mr. Lewis Finds a Home Kim Sullivan (Tate Publishing, 2014). Join Mr. Lewis, the miniature donkey, on his first adventure as he moves to a new home –one with lots of green grass, a herd of his own, and a new human family to love. But what will he do if it isn’t so great? What if they don’t like him there? (Age 5-6).
Note: Book now out of print but second hand copies available.
Lucy’s Magical Surprise Anne Booth, illustrated by Sophie Williams (OUP Oxford, 2017). A festive donkey story! Lucy’s help is needed when a donkey foal is about to be born. Will she be able to gather everyone together in time? And how can she and her friend, Rosie, raise enough money to help bring the harvest mice back to nearby fields? While at the village carol concert they meet someone who is set to deliver a truly magical Christmas surprise. (Age 7-10).
Damson the Donkey Neil Griffiths, illustrated by Janette Louden (Red Robin Books, 2017). A mysterious escaping donkey called Damson creates chaos for its new owners, the Greenwood family. Their new pet provides plenty of mayhem during its appearances at the local school, supermarket and county fair. But all’s well that ends well, when after one of its mysterious escapes, Damson returns and delivers a bundle of unexpected joy! (Age 7-10).
Donkeys: Amazing Facts & Pictures about Donkeys Sandra Klaus (CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform, 2016). This book will help you learn about the basic facts and truths about donkeys, what they are like, what they eat and their way of life.
Fantastic Facts About Donkeys Miles Merchant (CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform, 2015). Bestselling children’s author Miles Merchant uses captivating images and expertly written words to teach children about donkeys. Perfect reading for any occasion and especially ideal for bed times, long journeys or for bonding with your child.
The Way of the Donkey Nancy Willard (Embrace Civility in the Digital Age, 2019). Learn all about donkeys, their incredible history, and how people are supported by and enjoy donkeys throughout the world today. An entrancing book that will delight all ages.
Little Donkeys (Born to be Wild) Ariane Chottin (Gareth Stevens Publishing, 2005). Born to Be Wild will delight young readers with full-color photographs and facts on the life of donkeys, from birth and early life, to surviving in the wild and leaving home. Questions and answers on the animal’s behavior and physical traits and profiles providing quick facts about the animal’s size, senses, habitat, and animal relatives.
Flash: The Homeless Donkey Who Taught Me about Life, Faith and Second Chances Rachel Anns Ridge (Tyndale Momentum, 2015). If there is ever a good time to discover a wounded, frightened, bedraggled donkey standing in your driveway, this wasn’t it. But Rachel brought Flash into her struggling family during their darkest hour – and he turned out to be the very thing they needed most…
Flash the Donkey Makes New Friends Rachel Anne Ridge and Pr Shirer (Tyndale Momentum, 2016). Flash is the inquisitive type who loves to invent things and solve problems, but his curiosity sometimes gets him into trouble! With the help of his new-found friends-Jed the Goat, Carson the Pig, and Ruby the Chicken, Flash manages to turn problems into adventures and learns valuable lessons along the way.
Amber’s Donkey: How a donkey and a little girl healed each other Julian and Tracy Austwick (Ebury Press, 2016). The extraordinary and touching story of Shocks, one of the biggest and gentlest donkeys rescued by the Donkey Sanctuary and his healing friendship with Amber, a little girl born with Cerebral Palsy. An inspirational story and a wonderful celebration of the therapy work pioneered by The Donkey Sanctuary.
Pollyanne: One little Donkey’s Amazing Journey from the Knacker’s Yard to the West End Stage Sarah Oliver (Sphere, 2012). This is the amazing story of Pollyanne, a donkey rescued from a livestock auction, weak and exhausted. Her rescuer, John McLaren, used to working with abandoned and neglected donkeys, spots something a bit special in Pollyanne and before long, the West End stage beckons.
Mo the Donkey: The Wedding Adventure Charlotte Sullivan, illustrated by Hannah Baker (Charlotte Sullivan, 2016). Today is a very special day. Mo is going to be a page boy at his owner Charlotte’s wedding. But what will happen when a very muddy puddle, a missing bridesmaid bull terrier and some stolen sausages threaten to stand in Mo’s way?
Sylvester and the Magic Pebble William Stieg (Prentice Hall, 1987). On a rainy day, Sylvester finds a magic pebble that can make wishes come true. But when a lion frightens him on his way home, Sylvester makes a wish that brings unexpected results. How Sylvester is eventually reunited with his loving family and restored to his true self makes a story that is beautifully tender and filled with magic. Illustrated with William Steig’s glowing pictures, this is a modern classic and winner of the Caldecott Medal.
To Bray or Not to Bray Alan Davison (Shield Publishers, 2014). Blurtso is a philosophical, good-natured donkey with a weakness for pumpkin pie. In this first volume, Blurtso and his friend Harlan the elephant try to make sense of human beings and the modern world. Based on text episodes from The Blurtso Chronicles this book includes over 100 black and white illustrations by the author.
Blurtso Goes Around and Comes Around Alan Davison (Shield Publishers, 2014). Follow the continuing adventures of Blurtso the donkey and Harlan the elephant. In this volume Blurtso becomes a guru and teaches tai chi to the residents of his Clippety Clop Animal Shelter, travels to Hollywood in search of a talking horse, and his stickball team wins the Boston city championship.
On Walden Pond Alan Davison (Shield Publishers, 2014). Follow Pablo and Bonny the donkeys as they go into the woods to live like Henry David Thoreau, while Blurtso the donkey and Harlan the elephant found their own university. With 200+ color illustrations.
Blurtseau Lundif Alan Davison (Shield Publishers, 2014). Blurtso the donkey’s alter ego, Blurtseau Lundif, an eighteenth century French pirate donkey, sails the Mediterranean in search of fortune and fame. Exiled by the king, Blurtseau is forced to make his way as a pirate. Based on the episodes from The Blurtso Chronicles and illustrated with over 300 drawings by the author.
The Small One Alex Walsh, Illustrated by Jesse Clay Disney Press, 1997) Right outside Nazareth, a boy lives with his father and four donkeys. One donkey, called Small One, is old and weak. When the father announces they can no longer afford to keep Small One, the boy sets out to sell him to somebody special. He has a hard time, until a man exchanges a piece of silver for Small One, needing a donkey to carry his wife, Mary, to Bethlehem.
Know Your Donkeys & Mules Jack Byard (Fox Chapel Publishing, 2012). Donkeys really aren’t stubborn, they just have a strong instinct for self-preservation! Adults and kids alike will enjoy learning about the many characteristics of these gentle and docile animals.
Donkey Donkey Roger Duvoisin (The New York Review, 2016). Donkey-donkey is sad because his ears are long and ridiculous. He seeks the advice of his fellow farm animals who suggest he wear his ears more like theirs. Finally a little girl remarks on the beauty of the pretty little donkey’s ears! A classic tale of vanity and folly, and learning to accept oneself.
The Wonky Donkey Craig Smith, illustrated by Katz Cowley (Hodder Children’s Books, 2013). In this very funny, cumulative song, each page tells us something new about the donkey until we end up with a spunky, hanky-panky cranky stinky dinky lanky honky-tonky winky wonky donkey, which will have children in fits of laughter! There is much fun to be had by listening to the song and trying to predict the new word for each clue given.
The Hungry Donkey Heather Amery, illustrated by Stephen Cartwright (Usborne Publishing Ltd, 2002). Delightful stories of the people and animals on Apple Tree Farm. Each story has a simple text to encourage young children to read themselves, and a longer text that children enjoy listening to – and a duck to find on each page. (Age 3+).
That’s Not My Donkey… Fiona Watt, illustrated by Rachel Wells (Usborne Publishing, 2010). This delightful series of books is aimed at very young children. The bright pictures, with their patches of different textures, are designed to develop sensory and language awareness. Babies and toddlers will love turning the pages and touching the feely patches.
Little Donkey: A Short Story (Audiobook) Jodi Taylor, narrated by Lucy Price-Lewis (Audible Studios, 2015). It’s Christmas, and Jenny Checkland is beset with problems. The vicar, who really should know better, has asked to borrow Marilyn the donkey for the nativity play, thereby unleashing chaos on the already chaos-laden Frogmorton Farm.
Crash Bang Donkey! Jill Newton (Gullane Children’s Books, 2011). Donkey is very musical and very noisy! When he turns up at Peaceful Farm, he causes total havoc. Farmer Gruff banishes him to the top field – until he realises that Donkey’s banging and crashing is scaring the crows, and that Donkey is a very useful animal to have on the farm after all. (Age 4-8).
Donkey’s Busy Day Natalie Russell (Bloomsbury, 2009). Donkey is extremely proud to have been put in charge of the farm and to be responsible for ensuring that all the jobs get done. But when he tries to encourage the animals to help him, they all have their excuses. So Donkey has to think hard how to entice the animals into doing some hard work, which might involve a special treat of a picnic and a tractor ride! (Age 4-8).
How Many Donkeys? An Arabic Counting Tale Albert Whitman & Company, 2012). (Jouha is loading his donkeys with dates to sell at the market. How many donkeys are there? His son helps him count ten, but once the journey starts, things change. By the end of the story, readers will be counting correctly – and in Arabic!
Calamity Camilla Ashforth (Walker Books Ltd, 1996). James, the gentle bear who likes nothing better than peace and quiet, and his treasured Useful Box must come to the rescue when the arrival of Calamity, a donkey who makes a ruckus wherever she goes, ensues in chaos. (Age 6-9).
Donkey Rescue (The Petsitters Club:3) Tessa Krailing (Scholastic Hippo, 1997). Sam, Jo, Matthew and Katie are petsitting Buster the dog, but Jo can’t stop thinking about Dillon, the sad, neglected donkey he saw standing alone in a field. He finds out that Dillon is to be sold at market so it’s a race against time to save him. (Age 8-11).
Jo-Jo The Melon Donkey Every day, Jo-Jo brays the same message and carries the heavy melons through the streets of Venice. Bullied by his master and plagued by flies, Jo-Jo is loved by nobody. But one day, somebody notices Jo-Jo. But when danger looms, the Venetians need a hero to save them. (Age 8-10).
Smokey the Stubborn Donkey Efrat Haddi, illustrated by Abira Das (CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform, 2015). Smokey, a young donkey that lived on a big farm in Australia, was the most stubborn donkey in the world, until his father has an idea, that, instead of saying NO to everything, he should say YES. This well-written and inspiring story, delivers easy-to-digest education complemented by vibrant, delightful illustrations. (Age 3-8).
Eeyore Has a Birthday (Winnie-the-Pooh) by A.A. Milne (Heinemann Young Books, 1990). Each book contains one complete chapter from A.A. Milne’s Winnie the Pooh and The House at Pooh Corner, with the original coloured illustrations by E.H. Shepard.
Alan The Christmas Donkey: The little donkey who made a big difference Tracy Garton (Sidgwick & Jackson, 2016). The charming, heartwarming true story of a little donkey who helped save the sanctuary that took him in. For animal lovers everywhere, a funny, warm and inspiring read.
Mr Skip Michel Morpurgo (Harper Collins Children’s Books, 2012). Jackie dreams of owning the fastest horse in Ireland but she and her mum only have a slow donkey. she and her mum only have a slow donkey. Then Jackie finds a garden gnome in the rubbish bin. She lovingly names him Mr Skip and decides he’s going to be a brilliant present for mum. But Jackie is about to discover that Mr Skip has the magic to make dreams come true…
David’s Donkey Tales Charlene Mundy and Jo Chapline (Knee-High Adventures, 2007). This charming story appeals to elementary school age children who love animals and like a mystery. The book engages children with clues, surprises, sweet animals, dangers, and imaginary adventures. David is a fourth grader who visits his grandparents’ farm where he has many adventures with their miniature donkeys. (Age 8-12).
Simpson And His Donkey Mark Greenwood, illustrated by Frane Lessac (Walker Books, 2007). A poignant account of the story of John Kirkpatrick Simpson and how he and his donkey, Duffy, rescued over 300 men during the campaign at Gallipoli. The book includes detailed research, a brief biography of the man, details of his work at Gallipoli and the little known story of how, without realising, he rescued his childhood friend. (Age 7-9).
The Donkey of Gallipoli: A True Story of Courage in World War 1 Mark Greenwood, illustrated by Frane Lessac (Candlewick, 2008). Jack and Billy grew up in the back alleys of South Shields, England, dreaming of adventure. Jack’s wish came true in World War I when he served as a stretcher bearer on the battlefields of Gallipoli, Turkey. When stretchers ran short, Jack enlisted the help of a donkey called Duffy.
Platero and I Juan Ramón Jiménez (University of Texas Press, 1983). This lyrical portrait of life – and the little donkey Platero – in a remote Andalusian village is the masterpiece of Juan Ramón Jiménez, the Spanish poet awarded the 1956 Nobel Prize for Literature.
Donkey-Skin Charles Perrault (CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform, 2016). A fairy tale, written in verse and first published in 1695. A king had a beautiful wife, a rich castle and a marvellous donkey whose droppings were gold. One day his wife dies, after making him promise only to marry a woman whose beauty and attributes equalled hers. Includes unique illustrations.
Brighty of the Grand Canyon Marguerite Henry and Wesley Dennis (Aladdin, 1991). Long ago, a lone little burro roamed the high cliffs of the Grand Canyon and touched the hearts of all who knew him. Named Brighty by the prospector who befriended him, he remained a free spirit at heart. But when a ruthless claim-jumper murdered the prospector, loyal Brighty risked everything to bring the killer to justice. (Age 8-12).
The Donkey’s Christmas Story: Easy Piano Picture Book Catherine Storr & Alan Gout, illustrated by Ann Aldred (Faber and Faber, 1990). This enchanting picture book is narrated by Mary’s donkey, who shares her story of the holy birth. Sensitively illustrated in full color, this book will delight the whole family at Christmas with its story and 10 appropriate carols.
Fifteen Fun Facts about Donkeys
Platero y Yo de Juan Ramón Jiménez contado a los niños / Platero and I Told to Children Rosa Navarro Durán con ilustracione de (Edebe, 2009). Platero, un burrito que ha encandilado a generaciones de españoles, en una magnífica edición para ser leída en el aula y para la biblioteca del centro educativo. Una espléndida prosa poética expresada por un gran poeta andaluz.
El burro que fue muy rápido (The Donkey That Went Too Fast) (Brighter Child, 2005). A man and his donkey refuse to listen to a young boy’s advice to go slowly on their trip to town. Based on a Philippine folktale, this story reinforces the important principle that sometimes slow and steady wins the race. (Age 6-8).
Blurtso el Burro Alan Davison (Blurtso el Burro, 2014). Learn Spanish with Blurtso the donkey! This Graded Reader contains 70 pages of sequenced readings in Spanish from beginning to advanced levels. Each reading is based on a specific grammar topic. It also contains an additional 75 images for storyboard composition exercises. It is a fun-filled companion for students enrolled in a traditional language course, as well as those who are studying on their own. Teachers at all levels will find it a valuable pedagogical tool.
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Copyright Amy Swift 2016