Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

Teeny Tiny Ernest

Teeny Tiny Ernest

Laura T. Barnes
Illustrator:  Carol A. Camburn 
Picture Book  Series
For ages 4 to 7
Barnesyard Books, 2000   ISBN: 978-0967468112

Ernest the miniature donkey is feeling rather depressed. Why does he have to be so small? Why, he is the smallest animal around. The cows and horses are all so much bigger than he is. Ernest decides that he has to do something about the situation for surely being the smallest animal in the paddock cannot be good.

So Ernest tries several things to make himself look bigger. He tries standing on things and stretching himself upwards as hard as he can. All to no avail for Ernest looks just as small as he ever did. Then Travis the horse asks Ernest what is the matter. Ernest ends up telling his friend how dreadful he feels because he is such a small donkey. Then Travis gives Ernest a big surprise and with the help of the other animals Travis shows Ernest that maybe being small is not such a bad thing. Maybe it really doesn’t matter at all how small he is.

In a world where we all judge ourselves by our appearance so much, this picture book passes on a very important message that outward looks don’t matter any where as near as much as what a person, or a donkey for that matter, is like on the inside. Through the gentle and loving words of her animal characters the author helps Ernest and her readers see that appearance is not what makes a person. This comforting and very important message is perfectly complimented by the warm illustrations created by Carol A. Camburn.

This book won the Teacher’s Choice Award