In the vein of his popular picture books Grandfather Buffalo and Raccoon on His Own, Jim Arnosky?s Little Burro features a lovable new character who finds out that trying new things does not have to be scary.
Little Burro?s canyon has everything she needs?it?s breezy and cool on a hot day, and warm and cozy at night. One day, her band of burros decides to travel to the lake. She does not want to go, but finally follows when her mother calls ...
In the vein of his popular picture books Grandfather Buffalo and Raccoon on His Own, Jim Arnosky’s Little Burro features a lovable new character who finds out that trying new things does not have to be scary.
Little Burro’s canyon has everything she needs—it’s breezy and cool on a hot day, and warm and cozy at night. One day, her band of burros decides to travel to the lake. She does not want to go, but finally follows when her mother calls out to her. When they arrive, Little Burro is surprised to find that the lake is just as nice as her canyon—and even more fun!
Like many human children, Little Burro is a fierce creature of habit; her “favorite place” is actually the only place she’s ever known: the rocky canyon hillside where she was born (“Breezy and cool in the middle of the hot desert day... and warm and cozy at night, when the sun had gone away”). When the burros decide to leave, the exceptionally adorable Little Burro is the very picture of “No”: Arnosky (Shimmer and Splash) draws her sitting squarely on her bottom, her back turned to readers and her ears stuck out in defiance. But when Little Burro sees the destination—a huge canyon lake—and spends a day splashing around (the scenes bring to mind vintage vacation postcards in their coloring and comedy), she considers that maybe a burro can have two favorite places. Arnosky has taken readers to a wealth of landscapes and habitats over the years, but the Southwestern desert setting evoked in these pages is particularly well suited to his calm, straightforward prose and lightly romanticized naturalism. Ages 3–5. Agent: Susan Schulman, Susan Schulman Literary Agency. (Sept.)
School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 1—Little Burro, "the only little burro in a band of wild burros," loves her hillside canyon home. When her band leaves its canyon to visit a nearby lake, a whole new world opens up for her. But leaving her familiar surroundings is not easy, and she must be brave. Young readers will relate to Little Burro's trepidation, as well as the reassurance that a nearby caregiver provides when exploring the unknown. Arnosky has created a relatable protagonist with personality to spare, without relying on anthropomorphized characterization. His understated, compelling narrative offers a great read-aloud choice that will work just as well, if not better, one-on-one; the story naturally lends itself to a discussion of desert flora and fauna. Acrylic and white chalk illustrations reflect the habitat's sweeping, ever-changing beauty. The pictures have subtly shifting color schemes that follow Little Burro's adventures throughout the day, emphasizing the muted khakis, ambers, teals, greens, and purples of the landscape. Arnosky's careful attention to the vibrant detail found in natural settings will delight fans of his previous work, including Raccoon on His Own (2001) and Otters Under Water (1992, both Putnam). Eagle-eyed readers will particularly enjoy following the diminutive pair of ruby-throated hummingbirds that accompany Little Burro on each page of her journey.—Ted McCoy, Oakland Public Library, CA
Beautifully written, and illustrated in warm pastel tones, this gentle story of a little burro's discovery of the pleasures of a Southwestern desert lake is well-suited to preschool children, who will identify with the burro's adventure. Little Burro loves her home on the hillside of the canyon, but one day, the burro band begins to leave. Not knowing what is happening, Little Burro reluctantly and fearfully follows her mother and the band of burros away from the familiar canyon and her cozy birthplace, "a soft sandy spot beside a big round rock." Step by step, the band leaves the canyon further behind, until they arrive at a lake. When Little Burro sees it for the first time, it looks "as big as the sky and just as blue." Little Burro finds that she loves splashing in the water, and when it is time to go home, she doesn't want to leave. Once home again in the canyon, she dreams of the lake, her "other favorite place." The illustrations consist of large bordered pictures alternating with smaller vignettes and one full-page spread (of the lake); they include charming details, such as a pair of hummingbirds that hover around Little Burro and roost on her ears, as well as lively lizards, fish and frogs. A characteristically empathetic and appealing nature story from the master of the form. (author's note) (Picture book.3-5)
Jim Arnosky (www.jimarnosky.com) is a self-taught writer, artist and naturalist who has written and illustrated over 90 nature books for children. He has also illustrated over 50 books by other authors. Jim divides his time between Vermont and the Florida Keys.