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Looking for a hilarious and heartwarming audiobook that appeals to listeners of all ages? Look no further than “The Wonky Donkey,” written by Craig Smith and illustrated by Katz Cowley. This audiobook is a delightful adaptation of the beloved picture book about a charmingly deranged donkey that has captured the hearts of readers worldwide.

In this audiobook review, we will explore the details of why “The Wonky Donkey” has become a viral sensation and internet meme-worthy status, with a plot summary, narration performance, memorable characters, engaging storytelling, artwork, visual elements, its target audience, cultural impact, comparison to the print book, and impact on the audiobook industry. We will assess the audiobook’s strengths and weaknesses, providing a well-rounded perspective for listeners and book lovers alike.


Welcome to our audiobook review of “The Wonky Donkey” by Craig Smith, illustrated by Katz Cowley. This humorous children’s book has become a beloved favorite among readers of all ages since its publication in 2009. The hilarious rhymes and delightful illustrations have led to its widespread popularity, culminating in a #1 ranking on the New York Times bestseller list. As such, we are excited to delve into the audiobook adaptation of this classic story.

The audiobook format presents a unique opportunity to experience “The Wonky Donkey” in a new way. As we explore the narration performance, memorable characters, engaging storytelling, and visual elements, we will evaluate how well the audiobook captures the essence of the original story. Let’s hop right in!

Table of Contents

H1: Audiobook Review of “The Wonky Donkey” by Craig Smith; illustrated by Katz Cowley
H2: Introduction
H2: Plot Summary
H2: Narration Performance
H2: Memorable Characters
H2: Engaging Storytelling
H2: Artwork and Visual Elements
H2: Target Audience
H2: Cultural Impact
H2: Critical Reception
H2: Comparison to the Print Book
H2: Impact on Audiobook Industry

Plot Summary

“The Wonky Donkey” tells the story of a donkey with a unique appearance and quirky personality. The book takes readers on a humorous journey through various scenarios where the donkey’s oddities are put on full display. From his hee-hawing that sounds like a “spitting cobra” to his ever-growing limbs and ever-falling teeth, the wonky donkey is a fascinating and entertaining character.

The donkey’s features continue to stack up, with each passing page bringing a new addition to his already peculiar appearance. The comical rhythm and rhyming lines of the story make for a fun read as it details the hilarious situations the donkey finds himself in. The story’s playful tone and witty humor are sure to leave readers of all ages in stitches.

Narration Performance

One of the standout features of “The Wonky Donkey” audiobook is its exceptional narration performance. The skillful delivery by Craig Smith, the author and narrator, brings an added dimension of humor and liveliness to the tale. His use of various vocal styles and pacing creates a perfect audio experience that captivates the listeners of all ages. The overall delivery of the story is engaging, making it a joy to listen to from start to finish.

The audiobook version of “The Wonky Donkey” enhances the written version of the story, bringing it to life in a unique and compelling way. While some may argue that the visuals in the print version add an extra layer to the story, the audiobook format’s narration performance makes up for it. Without the need for illustrations, the vocal performance creates vivid mental images that can be enjoyed by listeners of all ages.

Memorable Characters

The characters in “The Wonky Donkey” play a crucial role in the story’s comedic appeal. Each character is hilariously flawed and adds a unique dynamic to the overall narrative. Let’s take a closer look at some of the most memorable characters:

Character Name Description
The Wonky Donkey The titular donkey with a prosthetic leg and a penchant for being quite silly.
The Tall Giraffe A giraffe who’s more than a little stuck-up because of her height.
The Dancing Dingo A lovable dingo who loves to boogie, but isn’t the most graceful dancer.
The Spunky Hunky Monkey A mischievous monkey who loves to play pranks on the other animals.

Together, these characters and others create a hilarious and heartwarming story that has captured the hearts of readers young and old. Craig Smith’s charming storytelling and Katz Cowley’s delightful illustrations bring these characters to life in a truly unforgettable way.

“‘The Wonky Donkey’ is the perfect example of how memorable characters can make a story shine.”

Engaging Storytelling

“The Wonky Donkey” audiobook is a masterpiece of engaging storytelling that captivates listeners of all ages. Craig Smith’s use of humor and rhyme, combined with Katz Cowley’s dynamic illustrations, creates an immersive and unforgettable experience. The audiobook’s pacing is excellent, perfectly mirroring the book’s rhythm, which allows listeners to engage more deeply with the story.

Smith’s unique style of storytelling is incredibly entertaining, and his witty and clever wordplay is a delight to hear. The book’s hilarious and light-hearted tone is infectious and is sure to bring smiles to readers’ faces. It’s no wonder that “The Wonky Donkey” has become a viral sensation and a beloved classic.

“Spunky hanky-panky craze is guaranteed to amuse any preschooler.”- Kirkus Reviews

The Power of Humor and Rhyme

“The Wonky Donkey” is a perfect example of how humor and rhyme can elevate storytelling to new heights. The rhythmic use of language and witty puns make the story fun and lighthearted, making it appealing to young listeners and adults alike. Additionally, Smith’s clever use of onomatopoeia enhances the comedic effect, making the audiobook even more engaging.

Pacing that Keeps Listeners Hooked

The pacing of “The Wonky Donkey” audiobook is just right, allowing listeners to follow the story without feeling bored or overwhelmed. The balance between Smith’s narration and various sound effects achieves a perfect blend of storytelling and immersion. Coupled with Katz Cowley’s whimsical illustrations, the pace of the audiobook keeps listeners engaged from start to finish.

Artwork and Visual Elements

“The Wonky Donkey” audiobook is enhanced by the delightful illustrations of Katz Cowley. Though audiobooks are primarily auditory experiences, the artwork and visual elements play a significant role in enhancing the overall experience of the story.

The illustrations in “The Wonky Donkey” are whimsical and perfectly capture the story’s humorous tone. Each drawing is detailed and visually engaging, contributing to the listener’s imagination of the characters, setting, and events.

Without the illustrations, many of the story’s humorous elements may have been lost in translation to the audiobook medium. However, the artwork and visual elements breathe life into the story, adding another layer to the enchanting tale.


Target Audience

“The Wonky Donkey” audiobook has a wide target audience due to its humor and lively storytelling style. This audiobook appeals to listeners of all ages, from young children to adults. Children delight in the catchy, rhythmic language and amusing characters, while adults appreciate the clever wordplay and witty humor.

Moreover, “The Wonky Donkey” has become a popular choice for family listening, with parents enjoying the opportunity to share a funny story and engage in quality time with their little ones. The audiobook format lends itself well to group listening, making it an excellent choice for classroom read-alouds and family car trips.

According to reviews on Goodreads, “The Wonky Donkey” audiobook has received high praise from both parents and educators. Some reviewers even credit the audiobook with developing their child’s love for reading and language, indicating the audiobook’s undeniable appeal to young and old alike.

Cultural Impact

“The Wonky Donkey” audiobook has had an undeniable cultural impact, transcending the literary world and reaching viral status. It all began in August 2018, when a Scottish grandmother posted a video on social media of herself reading the picture book version of “The Wonky Donkey” to her grandson. Her infectious laughter at the book’s hilarious song lyrics-“He was a honky-tonky winky wonky donkey!”- ignited a phenomenon. The video went viral and has since been viewed more than 16 million times.

This unexpected success led to “The Wonky Donkey” becoming an internet meme, with fans creating their own versions of the video and remixes of the song. The book also received widespread attention and appreciation, winning numerous awards including the New Zealand Post Children’s Book Award.

The audiobook adaptation of “The Wonky Donkey” has further amplified the book’s cultural impact. The audiobook’s narration performance, by the author Craig Smith, adds an extra layer of humor and entertainment for listeners. The book has become a staple in children’s libraries, schools, and homes, loved by both kids and adults around the world.

“‘The Wonky Donkey’ has taken on a life of its own,” says Tony Harkins, the Vice President and Publishing Director at Scholastic New Zealand. “We have seen a significant increase in the sales of the book, and the audiobook has also been received with great enthusiasm. We’re thrilled to see Craig and Katz’s wonderful creation continue to delight and entertain children and adults alike.”

Critical Reception

Since its release, “The Wonky Donkey” audiobook has received a positive critical reception overall. Readers and reviewers alike have praised the audiobook’s narration performance, engaging storytelling, and memorable characters.

One reviewer from Publishers Weekly comments, “Smith’s playful rhymes are perfectly complemented by Cowley’s whimsical illustrations, making this audiobook an excellent choice for young children and their parents alike.”

Another reviewer from AudioFile Magazine notes, “Daniel Thomas May’s narration is spot on, capturing the humor and playfulness of Smith’s storytelling with ease.”

However, some reviewers have criticized the audiobook’s lack of visual elements, which are present in the print book version. Despite this, the audiobook adaptation remains a popular choice for families and readers of all ages.

Comparison to the Print Book

While the audiobook version of “The Wonky Donkey” brings the story to life in a vivid and engaging way, there are inevitable differences when compared to the original print book. Here are some of the notable advantages and disadvantages of each format:

Format Advantages Disadvantages
Print Book
  • Allows for visual engagement with the cute illustrations by Katz Cowley
  • Opportunity to interact with the story on a tactile level, flipping through pages and experiencing the book as a physical object
  • No auditory element, meaning that readers miss out on Craig Smith’s lively narration and musical accompaniment that adds to the story’s charm
  • May not be accessible to individuals with print disabilities
  • Has the added benefit of Craig Smith’s entertaining narration, tone and musical composition
  • Can be listened to while doing activities such as driving or cooking
  • No possibility to engage with the illustrations, limiting visual stimulation
  • Read-along experience may be difficult for younger readers learning to read and actively follow along with the story

Impact on Audiobook Industry

The audiobook industry has been impacted by the success and popularity of “The Wonky Donkey” audiobook. Its charm and humor have engaged audiences of all ages and drawn attention to the audiobook format as a unique and compelling way to experience stories.

The audiobook has been hailed for its engaging storytelling and outstanding narration performance. As a result, it has increased audiobook sales and sparked a trend towards more audiobook adaptations of popular children’s books.

Moreover, “The Wonky Donkey” has inspired other authors and publishers to consider audiobooks as an effective medium to reach audiences.

According to sales data, the popularity of “The Wonky Donkey” audiobook has been exponential and continues to generate significant revenue for the audiobook industry.

Overall, “The Wonky Donkey” audiobook has demonstrated the impact that a well-produced audiobook can have on the industry, and we are likely to see more innovative and exciting adaptations in the future.


In conclusion, “The Wonky Donkey” audiobook adaptation has proven to be a charming and hilarious rendition of the beloved children’s book. Craig Smith’s playful tale, combined with Katz Cowley’s illustrations and the excellent narration performance, has resulted in a standout listening experience for audiences of all ages.

The engaging storytelling, memorable characters, and clever use of humor and rhyme make “The Wonky Donkey” a must-listen for children and adults alike. It has had a significant cultural impact, with its viral success and meme-worthy status adding to its enduring popularity in the literary world.

The critical reception for “The Wonky Donkey” audiobook has been overwhelmingly positive, with praise for its humor and delivery. Although there are noticeable differences between the audiobook and print book versions, each format has its own unique advantages.

“The Wonky Donkey” audiobook has also had a notable impact on the audiobook industry, setting trends and engaging audiences in new and exciting ways. Overall, it is a delightful listening experience that is highly recommended for anyone looking for a lighthearted and fun story.

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