A debut novel tells the story of Jesus’ Crucifixion through the eyes of the donkey who carried him through the streets of Jerusalem on Palm Sunday.
Lukas is a young, crippled donkey with one blind eye. His life in the stables is full of pain and torment, but his faith in God is unwavering. He wants desperately to be able to provide transportation to someone just once, despite the impediment of his twisted leg. One day, his wish is granted when a kind stranger requests to ride him. During the short journey, Lukas is amazed to discover that he is not in any pain and is able to walk without tripping. People in the streets part for the pair to pass, laying down palm fronds and cheering for the man on Lukas’ back. Lukas is so thrilled by his success that he wants desperately to see this caring stranger again and learn more about him. He is granted a dream, a vision of this man being tortured and nailed on a cross. He learns that the rider was none other than Jesus, the Son of God. After this harrowing vision, which seems as though it would be the climactic event of Price’s novel, Lukas is thrown into memories of his past, and readers learn of his birth and upbringing and how he was destined for the honor of carrying Jesus, just like his fortunate father and grandfather before him. The straightforward Christian narrative is punctuated by debut illustrator Collins’ masterfully drawn horses and donkeys laid over various collage images, all in black and white. To fully enjoy this heartfelt story with a surprising main character, readers must be willing to take for granted that stable animals would have an understanding of the Bible. In a short afterword, the author asserts that this book is for young readers who enjoy The Lion King and the Harry Potter series, though the connections to these works seem tenuous. Depicting the rewards of following God’s will, this volume should appeal to readers who appreciate retellings of biblical events from unexpected viewpoints.
A Christian tale that features an unusual animal protagonist.