I have been floating along on the waves of interesting and thought-provoking (and kind!) comments, and while I was planning to write a post on bare butts in picture books (be sure to look for this fascinating soon!), instead this happy, goofy feeling impels me to post about this:
There is so much to love about this book. We've read it all together many times when Chestnut and Diana were little, but not so much lately, and now that it has magically re-entered my head I am going to rectify that right away. It's just so moving. Sylvester, a rather dreamy donkey, panics and makes an error in judgment. He suffers greatly as a result (though the book never scolds him but rather understands what it feels like all too well), and then, just when things seem like they'll never get better [SPOILER ALERT], everyone is together again! With a secret and completely non-irritating message about greed and what's important. And the heartfelt gladness this engenders is perfectly communicated, as follows.
Just thinking about this book pleases me no end.
And thank you all for your comments and book suggestions; keep them coming! I'm starting a queue (sp?) on our library's web site, and all your suggestions are finding their way there.