Kirkus Reviews QR Code
THE DONKEY OF GALLIPOLI by Mark Greenwood Kirkus Star

THE DONKEY OF GALLIPOLI

A True Story of Courage in World War I

By Mark Greenwood (Author) , Frané Lessac (Illustrator)

Age Range: 10 - 12

Pub Date: May 1st, 2008
ISBN: 978-0-7636-3913-6
Publisher: Candlewick

As a lad in England, Jack Simpson worked at a beachfront donkey ride—an experience that came in handy years later when, as an ANZAC stretcher-bearer, he discovered a donkey cowering in a Turkish gully. With shells exploding all around, he manufactured a lead rope from field dressings and in following weeks gamely walked a regular route, carrying water up to the front lines and hundreds of casualties back down through “Shrapnel Alley.” As did more than 300,000 of his fellows, he caught a bullet at last and was buried with particular reverence nearby, in a cemetery aptly called Hell Spit. Lessac downplays pain, blood and violence in her stylized, richly hued gouache paintings, depicting instead battlefields strewn with small bushes and flowers and uniformed human figures, wounded or just weary, carrying themselves with quiet dignity. Little studied in this country but a watershed campaign for the nations that fought it, the bitter battle of Gallipoli stands in for every war in this simply told tale. “Lest we forget...” (historical notes, bibliography) (Picture book/nonfiction. 10-12)