Mary’s Little Donkey and the Flight to Egypt

Gunhild Sehlin

Illustrated by Jan Verheijen; Translated by Hugh Latham and Donald Maclean

2nd Edition



NOTE: This edition is out of print. It has been replaced by Mary’s Little Donkey and the Escape to Egypt (3rd Edition).

Our family read this story every advent for years. I divided the book into 24 parts, reading each one after we opened the next door of the advent calendar for that night. The copy of the story we had did not contain the Flight into Egypt, so our reading stopped at Christmas Eve. Had we been able to do so, I would have divided the Flight into Egypt into 11 parts and read one each of the Holy Nights following Christmas Eve. I still can’t think of a better – and simpler – way to celebrate that time of year. You can begin your own tradition when your oldest child is about 4. Your younger children will be captivated by the interest of the eldest and can fully participate in this evening ritual.

The stubborn, dirty little donkey who is of no use to anyone in Nazareth becomes a quick and willing helper under Mary’s care. But Mary and Joseph have to leave Nazareth in obedience to Caesar’s decree, and the donkey carries Mary to Bethlehem where the Child is born. The donkey hopes to carry Mary and her son quickly back to Nazareth, but instead they have to flee to far-away Egypt…

Gunhild Sehlin worked for over twenty years as a UN children’s worker in Jordan and Jerusalem.

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