by Sharon Creech, c.2018, Joanna Cotler Books,
$16.99, 176 pages
When 10-year-old Louie got up that mid-winter morning, he was sure the laundry basket held something dead.
He wouldn’t have been too surprised if it had. His dad was always bringing small animals home from Uncle Pete’s farm and most of them died.
Louie wanted a puppy, but he was a little afraid of getting any new pet and he wasn’t so sure about this thing in the laundry basket.
It was awfully cute. A baby mini-donkey with big eyes and long ears, it was born too early so it was very weak, and everyone warned Louie not to get too attached because it might die. It wasn’t any bigger than a stuffed animal, which was funny—neither was Louie, when he was born early.
He named the donkey “Winslow.”
Louie wished he could show Winslow to his big brother, Gus, but Gus had joined the army. He showed Winslow to Mike, his best friend, and to two new girls who’d moved into the neighborhood.
Saving Winslow was a lot of work, but Louie was up for the job. Saving friendships was also hard, but Louie could somehow do that, too.
And soon it was spring. Winslow had grown big enough to have a pen behind the garage, although he really wasn’t allowed in town. He’d also found his voice: his braying was annoying, and the neighbors complained. Louie was sure that his parents’ whispery conversations had something to do with Winslow. Was it true that when you loved something fiercely, it was always taken away?
Have you ever hugged a book? If not, well, prepare yourself. You’ll be tempted to do so when you’ve got this book in your mitts.
“Saving Winslow” is the kind of story that belongs in every fourth-grader’s personal library. This story is told with gentleness and introspection thanks to young Louie, who’s observant, kind-hearted, and surrounded by a small cast of others. Fewer characters makes this book even more of a charmer and it should be no surprise to know that author Sharon Creech was once a Newbery Medal winner.
For parents, this book is a quick-reading winner. Readers ages 8 to 12 who don’t care for sass will love it. For anyone who adores a pet and wants a heart-warmer, “Saving Winslow” is just what’s needed.
The Bookworm is Terri Schlichenmeyer. Terri has been reading since she was 3 years old and she never goes anywhere without a book. She lives in Wisconsin with two pampered pooches and 13,000 books.