Jackson the donkey works very hard, carrying loads of mielies, carrots and potatoes up the hill to market every week, from the little farm where he lives with the farmer, his wife Beauty and his son Goodwill. But one day Jackson just stops, halfway up the hill.
The farmer pushes him, pulls him, shouts at him. But Jackson WILL NOT BUDGE. Just as the farmer is about to beat his donkey, little Goodwill comes running up the hill.
Quickly he whispers something in the donkey’s ear – and, straightaway, the old donkey gets to his feet. The farmer is astonished. What could be the secret of the boy’s message?
“Well,” says Goodwill, “Mama told me it’s the little things like saying please and thank you, that make a big difference in this world.”And from that day on, the farmer remembers to thank his old donkey for helping him, and Jackson does his work willingly.
Niki Daly has won many awards for his exuberant work. His groundbreaking Not So fast Songololo (1986), winner of a U.S Parent's Choice Award, paved the way for post-apartheid South African children's books. Since then, he has been published across the globe and has visited and presented talks in several countries. Among his many Frances Lincoln books, Once Upon a Time was an Honor Winner in the US Children's Africana Book Awards of 2004. Jamela's Dress - first in the Jamela series - was another milestone book, chosen by the ALA as a Notable Children's Book and by Booklist as one of the Top 10 African American Picture Books of 2000, and winning both the Children's Literature Choice Award and the Parent's Choice Silver Award. Niki lives with his wife, the illustrator Jude Daly, in Mowbray, a bustling Cape Town suburb.