Thursday, April 14, 2016

Donkey-Donkey ... a bookwrap

Quotes about being YOU...


Authored and illustrated by Roger Duvoisin

New York Review Children's Collection

Praise for the NY Review Children's Collection...

“…a handsome collection of reprints, published by The New York Review of Books, aimed at rescuing neglected children’s classics from ‘the dustbins of history.’” —USA Today

“…a mixture of classics and curiosities.” —The Horn Book Magazine

“New York Review Books deserves a medal for its burgeoning collection of reissues of out-of-print children’s books, books that need to see the light of day in the hands of a new generations of readers, books such as Wee Gillis, by Munro Leaf and Robert Lawson, a slew of books by Esther Averill and, of course, the incomparable Ms. Nesbit’s The House of Arden. The books are handsome productions, with cloth spines and attractive endpapers.” —The Globe and Mail

“Felicitations to the people in charge of picking and producing these. They will rest on kids’ shelves, I feel certain, for generations to come.” —Eric Alterman, “Altercations,”

“Most people have a favorite book from their childhoods that has gone out of print. With that in mind, in 1999 the New York Review of Books began reissuing books that its employees and others remembered fondly.” —Publishers Weekly

“Recently, a number of children’s books have been reissued as part of The New York Review Children’s Collection. They are the sort of books I remember reading in slightly musty editions as a child, books in which children were always inexplicably sent away to boarding schools and were always going places for fortnights—whatever those were. And they were also always exploring dark hallways with torches, which I pictured as great flaming clubs, rather than just boring old flashlights. … The books, which appear in uniform binding, are visually appealing, and their red cloth spines make you want to line a whole shelf with them for some deserving young person (if such creatures still exist). …I’d recommend them for all children, but perhaps for your inner child most of all.” —Sara O’Leary, Vancouver Sun

“These books represent some of the fines

t children’s literature published during the last one hundred years. There are plenty of gems here for librarians to rediscover and pass onto a new generation of children.” —Philip Charles Crawford, Journal of the American Association of School Librarians

“How many of us, at the end of our working days, will be able to say with certainty that something we did made the world a better place? Edwin Frank is one of the lucky few… Frank is the editor who oversees the New York Review Children’s Collection… Whatever the numbers, the books’ reappearances make booksellers and buyers happy—reversing, in a tiny but symbolic way, the odious publishing trend toward keeping books in print for shorter and shorter periods of time… The children’s reissues are hardcovers with distinctive red cloth spines. The parents and grandparents who’ll be buying most of them, Frank says, tend to value quality and performance. And, like him, they also value things they’ve known and loved.” —Washington Post

Unwrapping some illustrations from the book...

About the book...

I remember reading this book to my students when I was a librarian in elementary school many moons ago.  The kids loved all of Roger Duvoisin's books and I couldn't keep them on the shelf.  They had to reserve his books a week ahead of time to secure a copy come their library period.  

Donkey-Donkey is a tale about a little donkey who is unhappy with his ears.  He decides his horse friend Pat is so much more beautiful with his small, cropped ears and that his ears look absolutely ridiculous in comparison.  Ahhhh that is a huge mistake!  He never, ever should have compared his looks to another.  

He becomes very sad and downhearted.  He won't eat his beloved thistles that he thrives on and he sheds many tears.  Feeling depressed he goes off to find his dog friend Hector and asks for his advice about what he should do.  Hector  tells him he should wear his ears down at the side of his face just like his.  Donkey-Donkey has solved his problem... yes!! Why hadn't he thought of that?  He is ecstatic!  When his barnyard friends get a glimpse of him they laugh and mock him and call him silly.  Poor dejected fellow! He hates his ears even more.

He asks Fuzzy-fuzz lamb, who is always being complimented on being pretty, and Rosa, the mother pig, who is not very clever but will give him her honest opinion, what he should do.  Every time he is persuaded by one of his friends to change his ear style terrible things happen to him and to others around him. This makes Donkey-Donkey feel even worse if that's possible.  

One day Daniel, a little sparrow flies into his life and gives him the perfect advice that sets his spirit and his ears free.  He takes the little sparrow's words to heart and his whole life changes for the better.  The positive change that takes place is confirmed by a little girl and her father who is passing by and spots Donkey-Donkey:

"Oh! Daddy! See the pretty little donkey. His ears are so beautiful!" 

That's the icing on the cake for Donkey-Donkey!! Yes, life is good once again and he becomes the happiest of donkeys, long ears and all!  

The take away from the story?  Know that you are one of a kind,  unique, there's no one else on earth exactly like you. Go ahead and celebrate... celebrate the one and only... YOU!!  

About the author/illustrator...

Roger Duvoisin wrote and illustrated 40 books, including those featuring the silly goose Petunia. He also illustrated the Happy Lion books, written by his wife, Louise Fatio, received the Caldecott Medal for his illustrations in "White Snow, Bright Snow," and a Caldecott Honor for "Hide and Seek Fog," both written by Alvin Tresselt. He died in 1980. 

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It's a wrap.

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