Summary: This is the story of a small boy who found out quite by chance why donkeys are not really stubborn, as people say, but proud, because one donkey long ago was chosen to go with Mary and Joseph into Bethlehem. Countless thousands who have heard this beautiful story over the radio will find in it the perfect remembrance. (Summary and picture from goodreads.com)
My Review: The Small One is a story I have loved since childhood, though I only realized it was a book several years ago. I discovered it through the half hour Disney animation, which I would watch every Christmas. (On a side note, if you are able to locate and watch this gem, please do, it's a unique choice for a Disney short, and loyal to the heart of the book.)
I love stories about friendship, and this one is a strong example. A little boy is determined to give his best friend, an old donkey named Small One, a good home despite his father's wishes to sell the animal to the tanner for his hide. The boy works diligently all day in the city, and is constantly rebuffed, mocked, and pushed aside, despite the boy's pleas that his Small One is fit to be in a king's stable.
The story is a simple one, but in that simpleness is a very sincere and warm sweetness, and a unique view of the Christmas nativity story. Donkeys, as the storyteller explains, have already fulfilled their purpose by carrying Mary into Bethlehem. They know who they are and the special calling one of their own had. This is a perfect story for any animal lover, and anyone who wants a gentle tale about friendship and kindness.
My Rating: Four Stars
For the sensitive reader: Nothing offensive.