Similarly, Little Donkey and the Birthday Present (NorthSouth, $15.95) by Rindert Kromhout tells of the deep conflict for young children of having to give away the birthday present they help pick out. It’s not a problem when the present is an abstract thing, but when it’s a pretty shiny red kite and one’s own birthday is so far away, well, that is different. After Little Donkey and his mother purchase the present, he tries very hard to figure a way out of this dilemma. He tries losing the present, but mama finds it. He tries having a tummy ache, but mama just responds that they’ll deliver the present and won’t stay for the cake. In the end, he gives in and discovers that playing with his friend yak’s shiny kite is almost as fun as having one of his own. The clever illustrations by Annemarie van Haeringen, the mountain setting and the calm wisdom of mama—not to mention yaks in red trousers—just plain work. Kids at this age and stage will fall in love.