A Donkey Called Mistletoe

(Jasmine Green Rescues: Bk. 10). Sept. 2021. 160p. Tr $14.99. ISBN 9781536222456; pap. $6.99. ISBN 9781536222463.
Gr 2-4–Jasmine and her friend Tom are on a mission to rescue Mistletoe the donkey. Mistletoe’s owner, Mr. Hobson, is moving to Holly Tree House retirement home. Jasmine, who has brown skin, dreams of opening an animal sanctuary when she grows up. She already cares for a number of rescued animals on the family farm in England, so she and Tom learn everything they can about the needs and care of donkeys. But Jasmine’s parents remain adamantly opposed to taking on another animal until Harrison, a young boy with autism, makes a deep connection with Mistletoe. When a nativity play at the retirement home goes awry, Mistletoe and Harrison step in to save the day. The latest in this series continues the adventures of the resourceful and determined Jasmine. Detailed descriptions of the behaviors and social needs of donkeys will prove enlightening for young animal lovers: for example, the children learn how to approach the donkey for grooming. Scenes of Harrison walking and nuzzling with Mistletoe sensitively illustrate the human-animal bond. Pencil illustrations depict scenes of farm life and help support reading comprehension. References to Christian beliefs and traditions are frequent throughout the book.
VERDICT A Christmas-themed story for fans of the series.

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