Just like the author, Anthony DeStefano, started his newest children's book, The Donkey that No One Could Ride with Jesus' entry into Jerusalem, so shall I start this post.
Jesus went on toward Jerusalem...he sent two disciples ahead. "Go into that village over there," he told them. "As you enter it, you will see a young donkey tied there that no one has ever ridden. Untie it and bring it here." ...So they brought the colt to Jesus and threw their garments over it for him to ride on. As he rode along, the crowds spread out their garments on the road ahead of him...all of his followers began to shout and sing as they walked along, praising God for all the wonderful miracles they had seen.
"Blessings on the King who comes in the name of the Lord!
Peace in heaven, and glory in the highest heaven!" Luke 19:28-38
In the pages to follow the reader is brought to see life as the donkey, presumably young, weak and small to start, why else would he be left unridden? In a beautiful cadence of rhyme, the story depicts the donkey as undesirable, sad, unworthy and without purpose. Therefor, the donkey is banished to the far end of town.
...left wondering why he was born to be weak and born to be shy, and born to be frightened, and born to cry.
Until, the disciples come to save the donkey and is brought to Jesus. Donkey then finds his purpose although he still feels unworthy in the presence of Jesus. It's only after hearing the words of Jesus he feels healed. In my opinion, this was the best page in the whole book. I read this page a couple of times to my kids and this is what makes this book more than just a book about Palm Sunday. The illustrations and words of Jesus looking into the eyes of this young soul, are for everybody. Hearing these words, donkey was transformed to a donkey of "courage and power and pride!" These two pages were brilliant, in illustration and word. It was as if Jesus was speaking to me and looking into my soul, not just me reading them to my children.
Whenever reading books to my children I decide if it's a top shelf keeper if the message is one that will last them their entire life. Without a doubt this is such a book. I will be reading it to my children for years to come. I imagine we'll read it until they know the story by heart and I foresee when they are older, I pull out , The Donkey That No One Could Ride, when one of them comes to me feeling blue. They will think I'm a corny Mom when I read a book from their childhood but, they will remember the truth that they were taught.
I highly recommend The Donkey That No One Could Ride by Anthony DeStefano, with amazingly beautiful illustrations by Richard Cowdrey. If you would like to have this book for the top shelf of your library you can find it on Amazon.com or Barnes & Noble.
You can have the book read to you right here:
And here is the book trailer:
The post is from the archives but well worth sharing again during Lent.