Books by Bob Barton

Released: Oct. 1, 2003

An abridged version of an old story tells the tale of Pepino, an orphan boy who lives in a stable with his donkey, Violetta, in the town of Assisi. When Violetta becomes ill, Pepino wants to take her into the crypt of St. Francis, in hopes that the saint's spirit will make the donkey smile and thus cure her illness. Only the Pope can give permission for the donkey to enter the crypt, so Pepino journeys on his own to Rome, where he meets the Pope and receives his blessing and some valuable advice on being prepared to face the uncertain fate of his beloved companion. The story ends somewhat enigmatically just as Pepino and Violetta enter the crypt "to complete their pilgrimage of faith." Though the donkey smiles, more mature readers will realize that the smile does not necessarily mean renewed health. The watercolor-and-colored-pencil illustrations bring Pepino and Violetta to life against the backgrounds of Assisi, Rome, and the lush, rolling hills of the Italian countryside. (Picture book. 5-8)Read full book review >