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Donkey Otie’s Forever Birthday Story is a 24-page illustrated poem storybook with original artwork beautifully capturing the Nativity story. Character expressions reflect the emotions and experiences of both humans and animals on the night Jesus was born.

“Donkey Otie’s Forever Birthday Story is my first children’s book and feature length animated screenplay,” said author Vicky Branton. “Through researching the Scriptures, I’m inspired to create others. First things first, will the public like my inspired story, too?”

In the back of the book is a Forever Birthday Certificate for recording that special day when Jesus is invited into the heart of a child, His child, whose age is boundless. Scripture references explaining the poem border the certificate. Regardless of the reader’s knowledge of The Bible or the translation chosen, the age-old story can be understood from Genesis to Revelation with a fresh inspired perspective.

Beast of Burden Gives Birth to Vision

Donkey Otie carried the burden of Mary laden with child into Bethlehem …VICKY BRANTON carries a burden in her heart for the children born to her generation whose parents stopped believing in Jesus. “How will their children’s children know Jesus if their parents didn’t teach them about his love?”

“When baby-boomers were young, everybody went to church. It was expected, and in some cases required. Once out on our own, we went our own way. Some of my age group found our way back to a faith in Jesus Christ; others did not; as was the case with one of my high school classmates,” Vicky explained.

After learning he was dying of esophageal cancer, his wife asked Vicky to talk with him about eternal life. Vicky remembers, “She thought I was an ordained minister because I love to talk about Jesus. Mike had not been inside a church since we were 17 years old.”

Vicky determined her friend was confident about his personal salvation, but discovered his one regret, “I wish I had taught my children to know Jesus.”

Thinking and praying about his remorse, Vicky was inspired to write a poem telling the Nativity story in a new way hoping it might open the door for further discussion about Jesus their last Christmas together. A framed copy was given to the family as a future reminder of their father’s last wishes, that they would know Jesus. He died the following summer.

Then Vicky realized many in her age group might have similar regrets. Part of every new generation of young mothers and fathers have no background or understanding of Jesus to pass along to their children or grandchildren.

“Donkey Otie’s Forever Birthday Story has become a memorial to my friend Mike Hanson and his family. It is also dedicated to children of all ages in hopes they, too, might know the love Jesus has for them,” Vicky concluded.

Lifelong Pursuit by Vicky Branton

Even as a young child, Vicky imagined herself in the entertainment industry. As an awkward teenager finding the spotlight and her voice, Vicky came to life on the stage as both an actress and singer. In 1976 Vicky organized friends for a patriotic concert that evolved into a 30-minute locally televised special celebrating America’s Bicentennial. Following that experience, Vicky envisioned creating and producing projects as her future. In 1979 she moved to Nashville, Tennessee to pursue a career in entertainment.

Working on the business side of the entertainment industry included stints at the Country Music Association; Pete Drake Studios and Window Music Publishing Company; and Scene Three Film and Video Productions where she worked until opening The Branton Agency. As a SAG/AFTRA agent, then as an independent casting director in Nashville, Vicky assisted director John Cherry with three of his infamous “Ernest” films: Ernest Goes to Camp, Ernest Goes to Jail, and Ernest Scared Stupid.

With a focus toward family obligations, Vicky returned to her hometown of Lafayette, Louisiana in the summer of 1998. Not until 2008 did she once again pursue her own creative endeavors which included converting her inspired Christmas poem into a feature length animated musical. Vicky is now fully engaged in developing both a series of books in the Donkey Otie “family lineage” beginning with Donkey Otie’s Forever Birthday Story and the complete Matthew / Luke accounts of Jesus’ birth in an animated movie musical.

Vicky Branton is described by Hoyt Harris, an author and former News Anchor in Lafayette, Louisiana: “Creative and enterprising, Vicky is a self-starter who looks at all the wild possibilities before organizing efforts that synthesize disparate parts, creating something that didn’t exist before–in short, a master at thinking “outside the box.”

Vicky Branton Entertainment LLC, an intellectual property (content) development company, was officially formed in 2011 to produce family oriented projects with strong commercial viability. It is also the parent company for Victorysong Publishing currently holding the license for Donkey Otie’s Forever Birthday Story.

More Than Just a Children’s Book

The original poem grew into a storybook then inspired an animated screenplay which led to a divine appointment: Meeting Darren Cranford a talented illustrator of children’s books who happened to own an animation studio!

Darren Cranford and his friend “Peggy” from the Little Harbour
In his spare time, DARREN CRANFORD illustrates children’s books and has over 15 to his credit. He has a Bachelor’s degree in Fine Arts from Memorial University of Newfoundland, but his primary focus for the last 15 years has been Animation, Visual Effects, and Pre-Visualization as co-founder of Keyframe Digital Productions in Niagara-On-The-Lake, Ontario. This Canadian studio is internationally known for an impressive list of television movies, television series, and feature film visual effects and animation.

Launching September 2013 for FisherPrice Channel is another Keyframe production Imaginext® Adventures – Through the Crystal Eye. This action packed cartoon has a real character building storyline about taking responsibility. Check it out by our link.

Among other Keyframe projects created and directed by Darren are their proprietary animated series “The Hugglers,” which led to Keyframe’s involvement in “Pinky Dinky Doo”, a 52-episode award winning series for the Sesame Workshop; Jane Seymour’s, “The Littlest Light On The Christmas Tree”; and, Keyframe’s own intellectual property series pilot called “Peggy’s Little Harbour” – a computer generated preschool show in HD.

Donkey Otie’s Forever Birthday Story has been illustrated to include little details from the screenplay, is published in both English and French with a Spanish version in development, and is ready for worldwide promotion. At the heart is still the same poem written long ago.

Faithful Friends of Donkey Otie

Developing Donkey Otie’s Forever Birthday Story from South Louisiana, the heart of the Acadian people, made the decision to begin early translation in French a natural first choice. Vicky remembered a dear friend that could technically translate the storybook, but foremost in mind she knew they would share a passion for the project.

LAURE KINOO WARNER was born and raised in a small village called Jonquieres, France. Being far away from her native country where churches have become mainly tourists’ attractions, Laure discovered the true meaning of Faith in the people of South Louisiana.

“I was honored to translate the poem Donkey Otie’s Forever Birthday Story. It touched my heart the first time I read it,” remarked Laure. “Vicky’s poem inspired me to share my love for Jesus with my French family and friends.”

As an admirer of poetry, Laure considered it crucial to respect the rhymes for conveying the message in the original poem. She believes the true meaning of Christmas is often forgotten, especially in her beloved France and hopes that readers around the world will see that this story from long ago still has the power to touch our lives today.

Today she resides in Lafayette, Louisiana with her husband and three children. As an elementary school French teacher, Laure loves to share her passion for languages and hopes to raise her student’s awareness of the importance of preserving and developing Louisiana’s French heritage.

Laure also has a working knowledge of Spanish and is assisting Vicky with development of the perfect Spanish translation.