Lokael: The Donkey Who Carried Jesus
Palm Sunday Story for Preschoolers
Katen the donkey and his mother, Loshem, traveled to Jerusalem, providing transportation for their caretakers.
Never did they expect to be on a journey of a lifetime. Would Katen, the donkey, would carry Jesus to Jerusalem, or would another be chosen?
Excerpt from the book:
On the way to Jerusalem, Katen asked his mother, “What kind of animal do you think Jesus will ride into Jerusalem?”
“Oh, probably a big white horse, or maybe even a lion. After all, He is the King of Israel,” answered Loshem.
“Do you think He will ride a donkey?” the colt
asked his mother.
You never know when you may be chosen to do the deeds of Jesus.
Was Katen ready to be chosen?
Was Katen up for the challenge?
Illustrated by Leigh Ann Cledgett
I’m an adult – and this book almost made me cry! It is so beautiful, and original, and cretive, and moving. It begins with Katen, a donkey colt, going with his mother to Bethany, just outside of Jerusalem, as she carries their owners to see Jesus, who is coming to Passover.
The conversations between Katen and his mother are lively and wonderful, as Katen states he would love to carry Jesus, yet his mother states that since Jesus is the Son of God, he would undoubtedly be carried by a large white horse or an elephant, not a humble donkey. But when they arrive, Jesus, who can speak donkey language (he states he can speak the language of all God’s creatures, since he is the son of God who created them all), asks Katen’s mother for permission for Katen to carry him, and assures the anxious mother donkey that he would not ask if he did not know that Katen was strong enough.
This part, where Jesus approaches the animals in such a humble, loving way, is beautiful. And so Katen begins his journey of carrying Jesus and Jesus names him Lokael, meaning one who carries the Lord. The book continues as Lokael carries Jesus up to the Mount of Olives, through the triumphant walk in Israel, and is there watching while Jesus is beaten and made to walk to the cross. And after he is risen Jesus appears to Lokael and speaks to him.
This rendition of the Jesus’ being crucified and rising again is beautiful, original, creative, and yet so accurate, and incredibly moving. The book ends later, on a beautiful note that captures everything Lokael has learned. The illustrations are beautiful, and appear to capture the mood and flavor of Israel in the time of Christ This book is strongly recommended – I would say it is written for second grade, through upper elementary, through middle school readers – but adults will enjoy it too!
A beautiful story about a little donkey in humble service to Jesus. Written in a creative way that will capture elementary children’s hearts and also enjoyable for adults.
I read Lokael with particular interest, because this book for children seemed to me to be a unique approach to the Biblical story of Jesus’ ride into Jerusalem on a donkey.
I enjoyed reading the book and I think that it is a great way to interest children in a serious Bible story that they might not otherwise find as compelling. Also, the idea that animals can communicate among themselves, and only the Lord (their Creator) would be able to understand what they were saying to each other actually makes a certain kind of sense, calling attention to the fact that Jesus Christ is the Creator of the earth and all that dwells thereon.
Also, the name Lokael made me check further about its meaning, because of the “el” at the end of the name, because “el” is a derivative of God’s name with elohim being a plural of deity. All in all, I believe Lokael is a worthwhile book for children, and as an adult, I enjoyed it too.
The story of Lokael: The Donkey Who Carried Jesus is also the story of Jesus, His triumphal entry into Jerusalem, His fulfilling of scripture, and His resurrection – told through the eyes of Loshem, a lowly donkey, and her colt, Katen – whom later Jesus names Lokael. The illustrations and story line give parents the opportunity to talk with their children about God’s gift of hope through Jesus’s life and death.
This is a wonderful alternative perspective of the Biblical story of Jesus’ triumphal entrance in Jerusalem for the Passover feast and Passion Story which is told from the view of a donkey with whom Jesus communicates in a very loving and understanding way. This is a new and refreshing twist on a very familiar Bible story that we have been taught from our own childhood. This story is a new way to continually engage children in learning about the Bible as told from different reference points (human and animal). Children will be delighted by the Passion of Christ as seen through the eyes and heart of a lowly donkey. Needs to be an essential part of any child’s library at home.
Other Books You May Enjoy
The Pony Who Wanted to be a Unicorn
Use your imagination and help Nikud the Pony feel like he is a Unicorn. How exciting that would be!
‘Twas The Night Before Christ’s Birth
The story many have heard. But this version is based on Clement Clarke More’s 200-year-old-classic