Anthony DeStefano is hoping to give the Easter Bunny some competition this year.
"I wanted to write an Easter story that challenged the Easter Bunny, that conveyed more of the true meaning of Easter, the importance of faith, the transformational value of faith," DeStefano says. "There's no reason why there shouldn't be an alternate character for those who want one."
The Garden City author's new children's book, "The Donkey That No One Could Ride" (Harvest House Publishers, $15.99), is written in rhyme about a young, weak, small donkey that was too puny to carry people or goods. But then Jesus chooses the donkey to ride into Jerusalem, and the donkey is miraculously able to get the job done.
"I wanted to write a book that was sort of like Dr.-Seuss-meets-Jesus," DeStefano says. "As a children's book author, I'm always looking for cute little animals that could be characters. Animals are child-friendly.
"Kids are all small, they're all weak, there are so many things they can't do," he says. This book is meant to encourage children to be confident and strong. "This book is about having faith. When we plug into that power source, there's no problem we can't deal with."
This is the seventh spiritual book for DeStefano, 46; he's written both children's and adult books, including "A Travel Guide to Heaven," and "Little Star."