Jo-Jo The Melon Donkey by Michael Morpurgo and Helen Stephens

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Jo-Jo The Melon Donkey by Michael Morpurgo and Helen Stephens

Category: For Sharing
Rating: 5/5
Reviewer: Margaret Young
Reviewed by Margaret Young
Summary: A beautiful, heart-warming story of a lonely donkey, a kind hearted child and the power of love to transform lives
Buy? Yes Borrow? Yes
Pages: 40 Date: August 2013
Publisher: Egmont Books Ltd
External links: Author's website
ISBN: 978-1405263535

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Jo-Jo is donkey, but he desperately wishes he were something else. His is a life of hard work and little comfort. He works all day hauling melons, tormented by flies, derided by passers-by and despised by his owner. Finally he finds a friend. A kind and gentle child who looks into his sad eyes and finds beauty rather than just a shaggy old beast. The child runs out each day to buy a melon, and for a few minutes Jo-Jo knows happiness - but this is no ordinary child, this is the Doge's daughter. Sadly, the Doge does not share his daughter's ability to see the inner beauty of things, scorning Jo-Jo as a lowly beast. His daughter will not give up on her friend though, and when disaster strikes Jo-Jo repays her kindness by saving all of the people of Venice.

Michael Morpugo has always had a way with animal stories and this is no exception. It is predictable, but still a lovely story that has a nice moral to it as well. The donkey hated the fact that he was a donkey, but his loud bray would prove priceless in this tale. There is something about accepting yourself as you are in this book, but there is more about accepting others as they are, and not judging by appearances. Most of all though, this story illustrates the redeeming power of love. The illustrations are not exceptional, but they are pleasant and my son enjoyed them.

This is a nice book, and if I read this on my own I would have it rated it as four stars. However, with children's books I do feel a child's opinion counts for more than that of an adult. My son was absolutely captivated by this story, asking to hear it again and again and trailing the book about to show everyone. Although we have only had this a few days, he can already tell you the story himself and his eyes light up as he talks about it. I simply cannot give a book that inspires such devotion in a child less than 5 stars.

My son says this book is one of the best books ever. He says it is funny when the man is cranky and when the donkey wakes people up but the best part is the end when the donkey is happy. Some children may be concerned about the donkey's suffering early in the book, but it makes the joy when he finds happiness all the stronger. This book makes an ideal bedtime story, leaving a child with a warm and cosy feeling, as well as being ideal to encourage children to find the good in others,

If this book appeals then we think you'll also enjoy:

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Buy Jo-Jo The Melon Donkey by Michael Morpurgo and Helen Stephens at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Jo-Jo The Melon Donkey by Michael Morpurgo and Helen Stephens at Amazon.co.uk.


Buy Jo-Jo The Melon Donkey by Michael Morpurgo and Helen Stephens at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Jo-Jo The Melon Donkey by Michael Morpurgo and Helen Stephens at Amazon.com.


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