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Saint Francis and the Christmas Donkey Hardcover – September 25, 2000
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Ages 5-9. When Saint Francis, known for his love and respect for animals, meets a donkey in the forest, the donkey rails against the unfair lot of his kind, who are forced to carry heavy burdens and laughed at for the strange sound they make. Francis first tells the animal the lively, funny story of how the donkey came by its bray, and then tells a more consoling tale about the donkey that carried Mary into Bethlehem. Although of little use to children, a two-page opening note provides excellent background on Francis. Byrd's evocative language, however, will attract readers and listeners of many ages. The pace of his story is measured and calm, and the paintings are large and spacious, some glittering with details, others open and peaceful. The beautiful closing double-page spread shows Francis and the donkey standing in the snow and gazing at one particularly bright star in the sky. Susan Dove Lempke
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I guess you could say I am biased since I love animals, St Francis is my favorite saint and I am passionate about teaching my children the real meaning of Christmas. I am also drawn to books that teach the values of compassion and respect for animals. If you are looking for something similar, this book has it all!