Originally published in Dutch, MIKIS AND THE DONKEY takes place on the Greek island of Corfu. Mikis, a boy of about eight, often visits his grandparents on the hill.
One day his grandfather surprises him with a donkey. To Mikis, Tsaki the donkey is a friend. But to his grandfather she is a “tractor with four legs.”
The grandfather piles firewood so high in Tsaki's baskets, that her belly is cut by the weight. Mikis and the village doctor force the grandfather to change the cold-hearted way in which he thinks about the donkey.
When Mikis and his friend Elena take Tsaki to meet another donkey, the two donkeys get along “really, really well.”
Mikis spends his summer vacation making a new stable for Tsaki. But the donkey refuses to enter her new home until her foal is placed inside.
Sketchy brown on ivory drawings depict the countryside, village square, classroom, and funny old faces. The loopy, loose lines are both detailed and airy.
Short chapters and colorful characters make this an easy read. The relationships—between family members, between the sweet/vulnerable teacher and her students, and between villagers—are distinctive and ring true. Love and understanding win out.
HARDCOVER; Published: 10/6/2014
Ages 8 to 12
To see more of Philip Hopman's work visit http://www.philiphopman.nl
from MIKIS AND THE DONKEY