Children’s Book Reviews

Children's Book Review: The Camel in the Sun

Publish October 29, 2013

9781554983810_HR By Griffin Ondaatje Illustrated by Linda Wolfsgruber Groundwood Books, House of Anansi Press September 30, 2013 978-1-55498-381-0 Ages 5 and up 40 pp Once upon a time there was a camel. Day after day the camel carried bundles of wonderful things for his master Halim to sell. But Halim barely noticed the camel. He made the camel run fast even when it was tired, and he left the camel tied up in the hot sun while he himself rested in the shade. The camel wondered if his life would ever change. Griffin Ondaatje’s The Camel in the Sun is the story of what happens when the camel meets the Prophet. It is based on a hadith, an oral account of the Prophet’s words or actions. A small story writ large, it is a tale of compassion and empathy that demands to be shared. A writer and documentary filmmaker, Ondaatje writes in the voice of a storyteller making this a perfect read-aloud. The strong imagery will appeal to readers of all ages, such as the description of the camel’s sobs: “It heaved with long sobs of unhappiness. Its whole body shook – the way animals shake when they cry in secret.” Austrian illustrator Linda Wolfsgruber’s exquisite illustrations match the text beautifully. Sandy brown and olive green with only a few splashes of red, the reader feels hot just looking at the camel’s world. Even the pages feel dry. A simple gem about the nature of kindness, this book is well suited for both family and school settings. Ultimately, it is a tale of hope and redemption that will linger long after the telling. Penny Draper copy Penny Draper lives in Victoria, British Columbia. She is the author of the award-winning “Disaster Strikes!” series, historical fiction that places young protagonists at the centre of real Canadian disasters. Creative Commons License This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported License. This review, and all of our children’s book reviews, are free to reprint and repost. Download the files here or Contact Us for more information. Word: The Camel in the Sun PDF: The Camel in the Sun