How Many Donkeys?

An Arabic Counting Tale

Jouha is loading his donkeys with dates to sell at the market. How many donkeys are there? His son helps him count ten, but once the journey starts, things change. First there are ten donkeys, then there are nine! When Jouha stops to count again, the lost donkey is back. What’s going on? Silly Jouha doesn’t get it, but by the end of the story, wise readers will be counting correctly-and in Arabic!

  • 32 Pages
  • 10.75" x 8.5"
  • 9780807534250
  • March 2012

Buy from Albert Whitman

  • 9780807592809
  • March 2015

Other Places to Buy


  • Bright, painterly illustrations depict the sunny desert setting; jewel-toned robes, turbans, and blankets enliven the sandy paletteā€¦A winning, witty, and surprisingly effective combination.

    - Booklist

  • Young readers will giggle along as they familiarize themselves with cardinal numbers in both languages and spot Jouha’s grievous but comic errorsā€¦Engaging and filled with gentle humor-a solid choice for home or school use.

    - Kirkus Reviews

  • Margaret Read McDonald is not only the world’s expert on folklore for children, she is also a fine storyteller, as this counting book shows.

    - Children's Literature

  • Full-color paintings expand the repetitive text, tracing the journey of ten distinctly different donkeys across the desert landscape and indicating the passage of time with the position of the sun, the color of the sky, and the size of the shadows underneath the donkeys.

    - School Library Journal

  • “his book teaches Arabic numbers through repetition while poking fun at the silliness of Jouha, making it a good choice.

    - Library Media Connection

Awards & Accolades

  • 2010 Best English Language Children's Book, Sharjah International Book Fair


    Common Core

    RL.K.1,2,3,4,5,6,7,9,10 RL.1.1,2,3,4,5,6,7,9 M.K.CC.B.4