At first glance a simplistic tale, but as with all good quality picture books, My Uncle’s Donkey from Tohby Riddle offers a little bit more to its readers.
The premise for the book is stated on the opening page;
“My uncle’s donkey is allowed in the house!”
… and so ensues a series of one liners, each spread over a double page, describing exactly what the donkey does in the house.
Following him from morning to night, we read that the donkey gets up to many human style pursuits from wearing socks to watching his favourite movie, although of course he also eats hay and flowers! What about uncle? Well he features in the stories pictures too, but the two characters never appear to interact with each other – is he a feature of the narrator’s imagination?
The pencil drawings in simplistic grey, black and white merged with touches of red, bring modern energy to this picture book. The donkey with his comical wide eyes are the source of much of the visual humour.
Intelligent touches such as the Van Gough Sunflowers and Charlie Chaplin on the TV screen add interest for adults – a much welcome touch as this book is sure to be one which will be read over and over.