Book Reviews – May/June 2012

The new books that is reflecting the region right now


Even donkeys can dream

A humorous and engaging story, The Donkey and the Racehorse tells of a country donkey in Trinidad who dreams of winning the Donkey Derby in Arima. Accompanied by her good friend Black Bird, Donkey wandersfrom her beachside home in Toco to Sangre Grande, guided by a feeling in her tail. Her journey ends at Arima Farms, where she is christened Miss Millie.

Millie spends her days at her new home helping with farm work, while yearning to fulfil her dream, and hoping that a horse will mentor her.

Sadly, none of the horses deigns to speak to her, with one mare even telling her daughter: “Dahhling, don’t reduce yourself to the likes of a donkey. We’re better than that.”

So Millie is excited when she hears that a champion racehorse, Attila, is retiring to Arima Farms, as she imagines how her life will change if they became friends.

This is Joanne Johnson’s sixth book with Macmillan and is illustrated with photographs by Carole Ann Ferris (also featured in Discover Trinidad and Tobago, one of Caribbean Beat’s sister publications). While the story is highly entertaining (Miss Millie sounds very much like a Trini), I would have liked the interaction between Attila and Millie to be more developed, especially considering the book’s title. It’s only in the last five pages of the book that they meet and a friendship ensues.

The Donkey and the Racehorse Joanne Gail Johnson
(Macmillan Caribbean, ISBN 978-0-230-02552-3, 48pp)

Mirissa De Four