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HOW MANY DONKEYS? by Margaret Read MacDonald

HOW MANY DONKEYS?

An Arabic Counting Tale

By Margaret Read MacDonald (Author) , Nadia Jameel Taibah (Author) , Carol Liddiment (Illustrator)

Age Range: 3 - 6

Pub Date: Sept. 1st, 2009
ISBN: 978-0-8075-3424-3
Publisher: Whitman

In this retelling of a traditional Middle Eastern folktale, silly Jouha can not understand why every time he sits on his donkey and counts the donkeys behind that are carting his figs to market, he loses one, making him a most unlucky man! But no worries—each time he is instructed to dismount, he is able to count all of the donkeys he sees, and all ten are there, making him quite a lucky fellow. Liddiment’s warm, sunlit illustrations show the lovable fool making his way through the desert landscape and finding help from passersby, all the while accompanied by the numbers one to ten in Arabic and English transliteration, which periodically appear at the bottom of the pages. Young readers will giggle along as they familiarize themselves with cardinal numbers in both languages and spot Jouha’s grievous but comic errors. An initial note explains that, as in Arabic, the numbers appear from right to left, and provides source notes and pronunciations. Engaging and filled with gentle humor—a solid choice for home or school use. (Picture book/folktale. 3-6)