Teeny Tiny Ernest is a series of books by Laura T. Barnes about a miniature donkey who is teeny, tiny and very, very small. When we meet him, he doesn't like being small and spends the majority of the book trying to make himself either feel bigger or be bigger. He grows increasingly frusterated until Travis, the resident farm horse lets him know that no one else is worried about Ernest's side but Ernest. In fact, no one really notices how small Ernest is at all! With these words, Barnes sets the tone of the whole series:
"Who you are comes from the inside," explains Travis. "It's how nice you are. It's what a good friend you are. It's how you treat others. And, most important of all, it's what's in your heart."
Illustrated in a gentle fashion by Carol A. Camburn, I thought the Ernest series was rather charming. I was glad to discover them at our library. They have a very peaceful feel about them and there are plenty of adventures to choose from. Other books in the series include:
* Twist and Ernest - a rather snobby horse named Twist joins the farm and discovers that he has a pesky friend in Ernest - like him or not! But Ernest's enthusiasm for friendship eventually wins the horse over and they relax into one another.
* Ernest and the Big Itch - Chipper the bird thinks an earthquake is destroying his house when he looks down to find Ernest using the bird house post to scratch a very big itch. Upon introduction, Chipper offers a myriad of suggestions to take care of the itch and they finally stumble on a solution that helps both of them out.
* Ernest's Special Christmas - This particular title won a Benjamin Franklin Award. In this book Ernest takes care of a good friend (and saves the life) of Chester the old plow horse. In the end, Chester rounds up all of the donkeys to bring old Chester in from the old. It's kind of a sad tale, even though it has a positive outcome. Everyone has "tears of joy in their eyes." So it's a great Christmas read, of course!
* Ernest and Elston - Nobody likes Elston the rooster because he wakes them up all the time. Elston is feeling a bit low when Ernest, our favorite little miniature donkey comes to cheer him up. Ernest assures Elston that his unique gift and abilities to wake everyone on the farm up in the morning is "what makes [him] special." In the end, all of the animals realize how much they need Elston.
Again, this is a super cute series with absolutely nothing objectionable about it. Clean good fun with a little bitty donkey. Definitely seek these out! They are worth the time.