A Donkey Reads

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Editorial Reviews

School Library Journal
K-Gr 3—When a Mongol tyrant demands tribute from everyone in a small Turkish village, a poor man with a large family can only give an aged donkey. The outraged despot orders the man beaten for this insult, but fortunately Nasreddin Hoca, the village wise man, intercedes. Calling attention to the donkey's intelligent eyes, he claims he can teach the animal to read and begins feeding it barley placed between the pages of a book. A month later, the tyrant sees the donkey intently turning pages of a large book with his tongue and, because there is no grain, braying loudly. Nasreddin says the animal read the entire book and even some pages aloud, though everyone knows a donkey does not read like a man. The villagers laugh, and the puzzled Mongol smiles. Nasreddin is almost comically small under his great round turban in contrast to the menacing Mongol and the poor villagers with their anxious eyes. Full-color illustrations feature textured backgrounds with bits of color showing through, which deftly suggest layers of peeling paint, poverty, and age. An endnote tells of this 13th-century teacher who is still honored in Turkey and the Middle East for his wisdom, common sense, and humor. Pair this title with Demi's The Hungry Coat (S & S, 2004), another Nasreddin tale illustrated in a very different style.—Mary Jean Smith, Southside Elementary School, Lebanon, TN
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781595722553
  • Publisher: Star Bright Books, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 12/30/2010
  • Pages: 32
  • Age range: 5 - 8 Years
  • Lexile: AD780L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 8.10 (w) x 10.10 (h) x 0.40 (d)

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