flash-the-donkey-makes-new-friendsFlash the Donkey Makes New Friends, Rachel Anne Ridge, Tyndale Momentum, 2016.

Flash is a donkey on his own. He and his blue wagon make the rounds around town as he collects discarded items that he sees value in. Then, as he and his loaded wagon make it up a hill, Donkey and the wagon crash into a tree.

Three Good Samaritans stop when they see Donkey with a bump on his head. They discuss the best options, including taking Donkey back to his home. When they find out that Donkey has no home, it is decided that he will go home with them.

There is Ruby the chicken, Carson the pig, and Jed the goat. These neighbors welcome Donkey into their home and heal him back to health. Everything is great, until Ruby wakes Donkey up one morning with a huge problem.

The three friends host an annual pancake breakfast for the community. Their pancake making machine is broken! In the midst of chaos, Donkey is calm as he uses the various things he had collected in his wagon to fix the machine. The pancake breakfast is a success and Donkey has a new home.

Author and illustrator Rachel Anne Ridge adopted a stray donkey named Flash. Ridge wrote about the experience in her book Flash: The Homeless Donkey that Taught me about Life, Faith, and Second Changes.

This picture book, divided into chapters, is longer than most children’s books. It was not a problem at our house. Toddler J sat through the whole story, and often wants to read it again. This hardcover book has colorful pictures, which is appealing to young eyes.

The story’s message comes from Proverbs 11:30: “The seeds of good deeds become a tree of life; a wise person wins friends.”

The book includes some interactive activities for the parent and the child. There are two pages with questions and reflections, for the family to talk about the themes of the book. In addition, every spread has a daisy on it, and children can have fun trying to find it, ala “Where’s Waldo?”

Flash the Donkey is great for readers ages five to eight, while still enjoyable for all children.

You can purchase your own copy by clicking on the image below:

Thanks to Tyndale publishers for an advance review copy in exchange for this review.