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Listen, Said the Donkey

Tales of the First Christmas

by Jean Little
illustrated by Werner Zimmermann

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list price: $19.99
published: 2006
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Canadian Children's  Book Centre
Librarian review

Listen, Said the Donkey

Listen, Said the Donkey, Jean Little’s refreshing take on the Christmas story, presents five animals who each recount how their lives have intersected with the baby Jesus and his family. The scope of their experiences range from the short tale of the naive little lamb to the lofty attitude of the Magi’s Persian cat. At the end, several of the animal travellers go their ways, willingly or unwillingly, but in a nice twist, Little ensures that the telling of stories continues.

This is the second book in which the talented Werner Zimmermann has collaborated with Little. Working in pencil and watercolour, Zimmermann gives us a palette of intense blues and luminous golds: the bright desert sky, the soft shadows of the night, the golden brown of the donkey and the rich yellows of the lantern light. Set among them are the naive little black lamb and the surprisingly heroic white dog. In almost every picture, Zimmermann has placed the animals in the foreground, with the humans set further back. He plays with viewpoint, sometimes giving us an “angel’s-eye” view of the shepherds and the lamb, sometimes a glimpse of the Magi’s train from beneath the camel’s feet.

Source: The Canadian Children's Bookcentre. Winter 2007. Vol.30 No.1.

Canadian Children's  Book Centre
Librarian review

H Listen, Said the Donkey: Tales of the First Christmas

Each animal in the Bethlehem stable tells how it came to be part of the Christmas story. The award-winning creators of Pippin the Christmas Pig cast a classic tale in a new and wondrous light.

Source: The Canadian Children’s Book Centre. Canadian Children’s Book News. 2007.

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  • Commended, Canadian Children's Book Centre, Our Choice
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In a stable in Bethlehem, five animals - a donkey, a camel, a cat, a sheep and a puppy; scared, tell how they got there. When the soldiers of King Herod come seek Jesus, the puppy comes out of hiding just in time to prevent the stable-boy of tell them where they could find Mary and Joseph. A touching story Christmas tells how a lost puppy freedom to save the child Jesus.

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Contributor notes

JEAN LITTLE has written over 20 books and has received numerous literary awards. She received the Order of Canada for his significant contribution to Canadian literature.

WERNER ZIMMERMANN has written or illustrated over 16 books over the past 16 years. He was twice a finalist in the Governor General's Award for his illustrations.

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