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One bright spring morning in the woods of France, a soldier, blinded by the war, is found by a little girl named Coco, and her older sister Marcelle. In return for their kindness, the soldier tells the sisters marvellous tales, each story connected to the keepsake he carries in his pocket . . .

One bright spring morning in the woods of France, a soldier, blinded by the war, is found by a little girl named Coco, and her older sister Marcelle. In return for their kindness, the soldier tells the sisters marvellous tales, each story connected to the keepsake he carries in his pocket: a perfect, tiny silver donkey.

As the days pass and they struggle in secret to help the soldier reach home, Coco and Marcelle learn the truth behind the silver donkey, and what the precious object means: honesty, loyalty, and courage.

This is a joyful and enchanting novel for all ages.

Formats & editions

Awards and Recognition

  • COOL Children's Choice Awards
    2007
    Winner
    Fiction for Years 7–9
  • Andersen Award (Italy)
    2010
    Winner
    Best Book for Readers 9–12

Also by Sonya Hartnett

The Wild One
Golden Boys
The Boy and The Toy
Life in Ten Houses: Penguin Special
The Best Australian Stories 2012
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The Midnight Zoo
Surrender: Popular Penguins
Butterfly
Of a Boy: Popular Penguins
Ghost's Child
Stripes of the Sidestep Wolf
Surrender
Forest
Of a Boy
Thursday's Child
All My Dangerous Friends
The Devil Latch
Sleeping Dogs
Princes
Black Foxes
Wilful Blue