THE FOUR DONKEYS by Lloyd Alexander
Kirkus Star

THE FOUR DONKEYS

by illustrated by
BUY NOW FROM
Email this review

KIRKUS REVIEW

Although this is Lester Abrams' first picture book, his assimilation of the genre's 19th century masterworks is beautifully evident here, as much in the muted peculiarity of his vision as in his intricate borders, his Subtle, smoothly graded watercolors, and the fine outlandishness of his three contentious craftsmen (a lanky, leather-clad country shoemaker; a tiny, hatted tailor who seems to have strayed from a quietly mad teaparty; and a spherical baker in shirred finery who is at once a resonating echo and a substantial presence). And though Abrams' tone and technique are meticulously controlled, his enthusiasm for illustration is so unbounded that the pages spill over with eccentrically booted pelicans and capped frogs, with mice and birds and an ubiquitous otter, who insinuate themselves into the action though they are never acknowledged in the text. All of this may well be a bit overdressed for the occasion, for about all that happens to Alexander's bickering trio on their way to the fair is that the weary donkey who is pulling the oberburdened wagon collapses on the road and the three men, reduced to pulling the load themselves, arrive in town too late for the event but "a little wiser for having made donkeys of themselves." Alexander spins the tale with his usual felicity, but it is Abrams' exquisitely accomplished pictures that make the outing memorable.
Pub Date: Aug. 17th, 1972
Page count: 42pp
Publisher: Holt Rinehart & Winston
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1st, 1972




MORE BY LLOYD ALEXANDER

ChildrenTHE GOLDEN DREAM OF CARLO CHUCHIO by Lloyd Alexander
by Lloyd Alexander
ChildrenDREAM-OF-JADE by Lloyd Alexander
by Lloyd Alexander
ChildrenTHE XANADU ADVENTURE by Lloyd Alexander
by Lloyd Alexander