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How Many Donkeys?: An Arabic Counting Tale
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How Many Donkeys?: An Arabic Counting Tale

3.28  ·  Rating details ·  98 Ratings  ·  21 Reviews
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 ...more
Hardcover, 32 pages
Published September 1st 2009 by Albert Whitman & Company
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Jan 23, 2010 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: parents reading with their children
This is a fun tale of a man who keeps miscounting his donkeys as he travels with ten of them to the market and back. Each time he is riding on a donkey, he forgets to count the one he's on and when he only counts nine, he fears he has lost one. This happens over and over and he never learns from his mistake.

While this makes for a rather silly and redundant tale, it also offers lots of repetition and practice saying the Arabic words for one through ten. Our girls thought it was a funny story.

Aug 22, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: picturebooks
This is a silly, humorous Arabian folktale, in which the silly father always forgets to count the donkey on which he is sitting. The repetition of counting in Arabic on every other page will reinforce and help young children remember the Arabic numbers from 1 through 10. The humorous, colorful illustrations are a perfect fit for the text. I especially like the puzzled look on the face of the father every time he thinks a donkey is lost.
Great multicultural counting book. My children thought Jouha was rather silly for neglecting to count the donkey he is riding. Fun to learn to count to ten in Arabic ...and especially neat that you can hear the author count to 10 on her website. I appreciated the author's note that explained the basis of Juha's character in Middle Eastern folk tales.
Jul 16, 2016 rated it really liked it
So short I read it at the shelf at the library. Fun, but simple. I would have given it 3 stars but I rounded up for the sake of the average community rating, which should not be so low as it is, imo.
Apr 30, 2018 rated it liked it
I found this book on the DAWCL. The reading I found on YouTube. I felt like this would be as good as me reading a children’s book in German. The reader appeared to know Arabic but wasn’t completely comfortable with it.

I did, however, start counting with him about half way through. My son, 3, also began saying some of he words along with the reader. While I’m not sure I would play this video for my son again, I would definitely get the book so that he could learn a bit of a new language.
Kendra Loera
Sep 28, 2017 rated it liked it
This book is great for beginner counters.
Monica Isza
Feb 27, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: books-i-own
The book How Many Donkeys? An Arabic Counting Tale, is somewhat of a riddle that teaches another language. Through the story, students learn how to count from 1-10 in Arabic as they follow the story of Jouha. When first finding this story, I thought that it was going to be something like Ten Little Monkeys and counting would be more of a subtraction story. What I didn’t know was that the story of Jouha is beloved in middle eastern folklore. This book would be a great addition to a bilingual clas ...more
Ashley Exford
The first thing I have to say about "How Many Donkeys" is WOW!The book itself was great, but the words in it was not so great because I could not pronounce anything. I know children would most likely get annoyed at this book because they would not be able to sound out the numbers in Arabic. It would be a book I would want to read if we were learning about multicultural's, but not for fun unless the students are able to read it.
Kathryn Hogan
Sep 17, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: esol-for-class
Very interesting book that is not only in English, but Arabic as well. It is a tale about a little boy and his counting skills. This book would be great when introducing different cultures as well as if you are dealing with the current news of today. I loved the illustrations and the opportunity this book gives students to see a different type of lifestyle.
Yahya Han
Jouha is counting his donkeys with dates to sell at the market. When they live the city, everything change and Jouha and his son start losing one of their donkeys. How many donkeys are there? His son helps him count ten, but once the journey starts, things change. At the end of the story, reader will be learned Arabic numbers.
Tessa Herrmann
Jan 23, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: january
I love this book mostly because of the artwork! The art filled up the whole page. All of the pictures had bright and vibrant color. I really liked how the story was different. It also and the little subtitle things at the bottom!
Dec 11, 2012 rated it liked it
I think this is a great way to introduce children to the Arabic Language and culture! I'm excited to use it in my 2nd grade classroom. The art is especially effective at creating a picture of what life is like to the Middle East.
Sep 25, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: children-s-lit
This book was neat because the children learn how to count to ten in Arabic! While reading, I found myself counting out loud and really trying to learn how to say the numbers in Arabic. It is really a fun way of learning and the illustrations are nice to look at as well. A great learning book!
Nojood Alsudairi
Apr 29, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: picture-books
A Joha tale. Beautiful tale, beautiful illustrations. Yes, it is our dr. Nadia Taiba.
Thuraya Batterjee
May 01, 2010 marked it as to-read
where can i buy it from?
Shawn Thrasher
Jun 06, 2013 rated it it was ok
Margaret Read MacDonald is one of my favorite authors of folklore re-tellings, but this one fell flat for me.
May 13, 2011 rated it liked it
"An Arabic Counting Tale"

Each time Baba counts his donkeys he forgets to count the one he is sitting on. When he gets off and counts again he finds the "lost" donkey.
May 03, 2014 rated it really liked it
Read this while I was waiting at the library. It was cute.
Jan 27, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: 1-folklore
Can help the students learn to count to ten in Arabic.
rated it it was ok
Jan 26, 2017
rated it it was ok
Jun 27, 2018
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Jan 15, 2015
Kailey Woodruff
rated it liked it
Sep 30, 2015
Bhavit Mehta
rated it it was amazing
Aug 10, 2009
Bonnie Stohel
rated it liked it
Jan 15, 2015
Haily Kokinakis
rated it it was ok
Jan 25, 2014
rated it liked it
Mar 25, 2017
rated it liked it
Dec 11, 2017
Jul 21, 2014 rated it liked it
Cute tale about a man who tries to keep track of his donkeys while traveling to market.
rated it it was ok
Sep 25, 2015
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Dr. Margaret Read MacDonald travels the world telling stories....always on the lookout for more great folktales to share. She shapes these found stories into tellable tales which anyone can share with ease. Filling her folktale collections with these delightful tales, she creates perfect read alouds for you and your family. MRM wants everyone to experience the joy of a beautifully