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The Donkey’s Dream

A beautifully illustrated story of the Nativity.  He was just an ordinary donkey, but on his back he carried a miracle. He carried the Virgin Mary to Bethlehem on the night she gave birth. Along the way he dreamed he was carrying a city, a ship, a fountain, and a rose. He dreamed he was carrying a lady full of heaven–and he was. Barbara Helen Berger’s glowing artwork and lyrical text perfectly convey the beauty and majesty of the story of the Nativity.


Hardcover: 32 pages
Publisher: Philomel; First Edition edition (October 30, 1985)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0399212337
ISBN-13: 978-0399212338

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly
A donkey wakes from a dream of unusual burdens to find that he has carried Mary to the stable where Jesus was born. PW praised the “glorious, reverent” paintings, “in which colors intensify the impact of visions and reality.” Ages 4-8.

Customer Reviews

By “readertoo” on November 14, 2000

Format: Paperback

Here the story of the birth of Jesus is presented from the viewpoint of the Donkey that carried Mary to Bethlehem. Not knowing for sure what he is carrying that makes him feel so special, he imagines what he is carrying, based on the feelings that he is experiancing. The illustrations are akin to ‘illuminations’ from the Middle Ages, yet with a more simple, modern touch. The story is excellent for young children (my daughter is two) as the images are rich for discussion and the text is simple and to the point. This book is a good choice for someone wishing to introduce their child to the meaning behind Christmas. It doesn’t go into depth, but it does express the touching awe of a donkey that knew he was carrying something very special, the heavens, on his back. I like this book because the illustrations are beautiful to look at, the story is appealing to children, there is a deeper symbolic meaning to the story that can unfold as your child grows, and also because good stories about the meaning of christmas, beyond Santa, reindeer and presents are hard to find.


By A Customer on August 12, 2001

Format: Hardcover

“The Donkey’s Dream” by Barbara Helen Berger is one of the most beautiful tellings of the nativity story that I have ever read. It is a crystal clear, beautifully simple look at the story of Jesus’ birth and the journey that led up to it–all as seen through the eyes of the Donkey that carried Mary to Bethlehem.

As is usual with Ms. Berger’s books, the illustrations are stunning. I am haunted by the forget-me-nots that frame these pages. The story is also told in an original, moving way…one that will not soon be forgotten.

I recommend “The Donkey’s Dream” most highly. It would make a wonderful gift (especially at Christmas time) for any Christ-follower.


Copyright 1989 Reed Business Information, Inc. –This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

About the Author

Barbara Helen Berger lives on Bainbridge Island, Washington.

Review & Commentary