Petey, a lovable, hardworking donkey, goes for a wild ride in this illustrated debut children’s book.
At the real-life C Lazy U Ranch in Colorado, Petey the Sicilian donkey has a pretty good life. He loves everything about his job, which includes celebrating opening day for the Colorado Rockies baseball team, greeting children and giving them cart rides, hanging out with the horses in pasture, carrying packs and tents for campers, and mostly just lazing about on his 8,500-acre home. Petey introduces readers to everything that goes on at the C Lazy U Ranch, from how the guests spend their days at the spa (Petey makes an appearance soaking in a copper tub) to how he helps protect the horses from coyotes that threaten them at pasture. When walking with the horses one day, Petey is swept into a strong river current: how will he stop himself from being carried off and away from C Lazy U Ranch? Craig’s debut is an exciting mix of education and fiction. Petey, who has a pretty busy life for such a docile creature, explains what he does on the ranch and how the whole enterprise runs—a stimulating lesson for kids and adults alike who are intrigued by horses, cowboys, and ranch life. The adventure comes into play when Petey is washed down the river and eventually saved by his pal Wolf. Both parts are enjoyable, but the story would have benefited from both strands getting equal space. As is, the educational section greatly outweighs the misadventure, so the pacing is a bit off. Petey and Wolf’s real-life friendship is heartwarming, and kids and adults alike are sure to enjoy the unlikely pairing of a short donkey and a graceful horse. Pendleton’s illustrations are delightful: Petey is one cute donkey, and the images are inspired by the real C Lazy U Ranch in Colorado, about 90 miles outside of Denver. Kids might be eager to book a trip so they can meet the book’s sweet protagonist in person.
A charming tale of adventure and friendship.