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Hannibal. The camel who longed to be special by Pauline Marshall. illus. Candice Haare-Smith.

February 1, 2018 Comments off

hannibalHannibal. The camel who longed to be special by Pauline Marshall. illus. Candice Haare-Smith. Pub. 2018

Good manners dictate that one eats with ones mouth closed. Hannibal the camel doesn’t do this, no camel does. Their flubbery lips flap, their jaws swing and whatever they are eating sprays around like a sandstorm. That’s what being a camel is all about.

Hannibal is not happy with this and he wants to impress the lovely Cleo. He consults a number of others including Dugg the dung beetle, Oz the ostrich and human beings. He just makes himself look silly but he has a lot of fun doing it.

Then he discovers something about Cleo that changes everything. Read it and see what it is.

First time illustrator Candice Haare-Smith does a splendid job with acrylic and watercolour illustrations that capture the camels image and manner. The eyes are particularly important because through the eyes you can see the soul.

Lovely story about identity and individuality for juniors either to read alone or for an adult to read aloud.

Purchase on Amazon.

Mysterious Traveller by Mal Peet and Elspeth Graham. Illus. P.J. Lynch

May 6, 2013 Comments off

mysterious travellerMysterious Traveller by Mal Peet & Elspeth Graham. Illus. P.J. Lynch. Pub. Walker Books, 2013.

I rarely come across stories like this one, I don’t know why but I guess nobody writes them anymore.

It is a simple story set  in the African desert about a wise old desert guide named Issa who finds a camel protecting a basket containing a baby girl after being buried in a sand storm.

Issa brings the young girl up as his grand daughter until she is a young girl, then blindness changes their lives. The girl becomes the old man’s eyes and she describes the land around her so that he can guide his clients. It works.

Then some travellers come but mock the old guide. They leave and too are caught in a sand storm. The old man and the girl go out looking for the travellers and in the process learn an amazing fact.

Simply told with biblical wisdom -“wealth does not always bring happiness, but poverty always brings sorrow”. I guess we all know that but stories personalise this in a powerful way.

The illustrations by P.J. Lynch are magical. They capture the character of the old man and the desert landscape beautifully.

This short novel for everybody is the best of it’s kind I have read for some time.