The title character of the new book Saving Winslow is a sickly, newborn miniature donkey. Winslow is adopted by Louie, a 10-year-old boy who vows to nurse the creature to health.
The book’s author, Sharon Creech, got the name—and the idea for the story—from her grandchildren, who raised several orphaned lambs at their home, in Maine, including one they called Winslow. “It was so endearing to watch,” Creech told TIME for Kids. “The lambs thought my grandkids were their parents.”
The book is fiction, but it’s filled with details from her family’s experience, like when Winslow wears a diaper inside the house. And in the story, Louie and Winslow grow to feel like family, too. “They gather strength from one another,” Creech says.