Review By BEN DEVRIES
Little Colt’s Palm Sunday is a gentle retelling of Jesus’ entrance into Jerusalem on a young donkey, who had never been ridden before and was recruited along with his mother from a nearby town by Jesus and his disciples. The book, beautifully illustrated and written in rhyming stanzas, is especially appropriate for children ages 4-8 and represents an engaging way to help familiarize them with Palm Sunday.
Little Colt’s story begins with his Mama telling him a bedtime tale about how his great-great-grandpa once carried Mary and her unborn baby Jesus to Bethlehem. Little Colt responds by saying how much he’d like to meet this man who would grow to do great things, including “rais[ing] men from the dead,” and Mama wonders if he may.
True to the Gospel passages which describe the events, one of which is included at the beginning of the book, Little Colt does get an unexpected chance to meet this special man. The description and image of Little Colt being introduced to Jesus, who kneels down to softly to acknowledge and pet him, is especially tender. Little Colt is rather unsure of himself giving his first ride, but he quickly comes to recognize the once-in-a-lifetime service he’s able to offer Jesus and to bask in the extraordinary scene of the crowd leading Jesus into Jerusalem with excitement and reverence, and laying their cloaks and palm branches down for the donkey foal to carry Jesus over:
The palms felt soft beneath his hooves.
Much softer than the road.
“These branches feel quite cool,” thought Colt.
“And I bear a sacred load.”
Little Colt’s Palm Sunday doesn’t look ahead to the very different days that followed later in the week, the integral events in Christ’s life and ministry which we commemorate on Good Friday and Easter Sunday. The book simply mentions that the Little Colt’s job is complete, while Jesus’ mission is still calling to him. Parents may want to take the opportunity after reading to point in an age appropriate way to the reason Jesus came to Jerusalem. But Little Colt’s Palm Sunday is to be recommended for its accessible and kindhearted focus on these moments when Jesus is honored, and when he in turn honors a humble young donkey.