A sentimental story, set in Renaissance Venice, about an ugly, ragbag of a donkey and a little girl who loved him more than she loved all of the horses in the kingdom. When Jo-Jo jauntily sets out with his master to sell melons in front of the Cathedral, everyone laughs at him and refuses to buy his melons. But the Doge's daughter notices Jo-Jo's sad, kind eyes, and wants him for her friend. When her father announces that he will buy her any horse she wants, she choses Jo-Jo the donkey. Angered by her choice, her father sends her to her room in disgrace. But when Jo-Jo sneaks into town late that night and the two of them save the town from an unexpected flood, the humble donkey becomes a hero--and the Doge allows his daughter her wish. With a nice blend of humor and sadness, Morpurgo brings to life the vibrancy of 16th-century Venice, while Molan's vivid mixed-medium illustrations add to the poignancy--and triumph--of Jo-Jo's tale.