Thursday, April 17, 2014

The Easter Donkey by Donna Thornton and Lynne Pryor, illustrator

The Easter Donkey Drupelet the donkey,
named after a tiny bump of juice on a raspberry, returns for another heartwarming tale in the newly 
released book, The Easter Donkey (Ambassador International; April 2014; $14.99, hardcover). 
Along with her farm pals from the 2011 hit The Christmas Donkey, readers will enjoy a fresh telling 
of the Easter story while following Drupelet’s journey to understand the gifts God has given to 
those who accept them. Drupelet isn’t just a character in a book– she’s a real 
donkey living on an Upstate raspberry farm with 
a family that loves her just the way she is. Author Donna Thornton grew to love children’s books 
while reading to her sons Robert and Stephen, but after they moved on to more mature stories, 
Donna started to write them. Her first book, The Christmas Donkey, experienced successful sales 
over the last three holiday seasons. “I hope The Easter Donkey is welcomed into many homes this 
spring,” says Thornton.

About the Author: Author Donna Thornton uses the animals on her mother’s berry 
farm to re-tell the greatest story ever told. She wrote The Easter Donkey not only to 
offer a fresh telling of the Easter story but to remind everyone of its wonder. This work, 
along with The Christmas Donkey, tells of Drupelet’s journey to understand the gifts 
God has given to those who accept them. She hopes her readers will also experience 
that wonder. Donna lives in the upstate of South Carolina with her husband, two sons, 
and two dogs.

About the Illustrator: Artist Lynne Ballenger Pryor was excited to provide the 
illustrations for The Easter Donkey, Lynne’s second illustrated book. She says, “I feel 
as if I developed a special bond with each of these animals that God created . . . it has 
been an exciting adventure to work with Donna as we made these animals come to 
life.” A professional artist who works primarily in watercolors, Lynne especially loves 
to paint landscapes and specializes in small town collages that represent unique parts 
of local towns. Lynne resides with her husband, three children, and two cats in upstate South Carolina.

My Review:  A short, but engaging story, THE EASTER DONKEY will make an understandable introduction to Holy Week, the progression from the hallelujahs of Palm Sunday to the quiet sadness of Maundy Thursday and Good Friday to the triumphant shouts of Easter morning. Stories behind symbols like the butterfly, dogwood flower, Celtic cross, and even the colors of Easter are explained at the end of the book.  Photos of the real animals of the raspberry farm are included, making a wonderful comparison to Lynne Ballenger Pryor's captivating illustrations.  I know this is a book that will be shared and enjoyed by my grandchildren for years to come.  This would be an excellent addition to the children's library at your church or would make a special gift at this season.  I received a copy of THE EASTER DONKEY from Ambassador International Publishing for my honest review.

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