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Saving Winslow

Last updated Wednesday, March 27, 2019

Author: Sharon Creech
Date of Publication:
ISBN: 0062570706
Grade Level: 4th    (GLCs: Click here for grade level guidelines.)
Date(s) Used: Apr. 2019

Synopsis: Louie doesn't have the best luck when it comes to nurturing small creatures. So when his father brings home a sickly newborn mini donkey, he's determined to save him. He names him Winslow. Taking care of him helps Louie feel closer to his brother, Gus, who is far, far away in the army. Everyone worries that Winslow won't survive, especially Louie’s quirky new friend, Nora, who has experienced loss of her own. But as Louie's bond with Winslow grows, surprising and life-altering events prove that this fragile donkey is stronger than anyone could have imagined.

Discussion topics for before reading:
•  What do you think the book is about?
•  How do you take care of an animal?
•  What do you think it would be like to have a pet donkey?


•  musty (Ch 2, pg 5) - having an odor or flavor suggestive of mold
•  plastering (ch 2, pg 6) - coat or cover something with a substance
•  nurturing (ch 3, pg 7) - care for an encourage the growth or development of
•  gasped (ch 3, pg 8) - a sudden, short intake of breath, as in shock or surprise
•  pitiful (ch 3, pg 9) - deserving of sadness or sorrow
•  repellent (ch 4, pg 12) - something (a substance) that keeps away insects

Discussion topics for during/after reading:
•  How would you feel if you got a pet donkey?
•  What type of pet would you like to have? Why?
•  Do you think Louie will be able to save Winslow?
•  What names do you like for a pet?

Craft ideas:
•  Make a donkey puppet with a paper bag. Or make a finger puppet.
•  Make a donkey mask using a paper plate.
•  Check our craft ideas on Pinterest!

*Note: These craft ideas are just suggestions. You can use them, but you don’t have to use them. You can expand upon them, or add your own twist. Remember, though, that the focus of your time should not be on the development and execution of a craft; the focus should be on the read-aloud and the enjoyment of the book!