Author: Foreman, Michael
A touching tale of friendship and adventure in the desert.
|Accelerated Reader Information:|
Interest Level: LG
Reading Level: 3.30
Points: .5 Quiz: 188756
Kirkus Reviews (-) (02/01/17)
School Library Journal (04/01/17)
Full Text Reviews:
Booklist - 01/01/2017 Jamal is a young camel walk, walk, walking through the desert. It’s hard! His parents have long legs, and the short-legged humans mostly ride. Jamal’s journey takes a turn for the worse when the sand kicks up and he becomes lost. A jerboa, a hare, and a lizard aren’t much help, but a falcon leads him back to the caravan and his young owner. With the camel-riding figures on the cover in traditional desert clothing, readers might think this story is set in the past. But close observers will see a modern city in the distance, and the book’s last spreads feature this busy, noisy place near the sea, with boats and bazaars and something new at every turn. In his author’s note, Foreman says he’s referencing Dubai with both its glass towers and roots in Bedouin culture. To illustrate, he uses ink and watercolor, capturing the oceans of sand and the seemingly unending expanse of blue skies, as well as the bright liveliness of the city. Touches of folktale blend well with this take on traditional and modern life. - Copyright 2017 Booklist.
School Library Journal - 04/01/2017 PreS-Gr 2—Jamal, a young camel who is separated from his owners during a desert storm, is eventually reunited with them. Camels must "walk, walk, walk," but this is especially difficult for Jamal because his legs are so short. His journey across the desert changes from challenging to frightening, though, when he becomes lost in a sandstorm. Jamal encounters a jerboa, a monitor lizard, and a hare the following day, but fearing one another as predators, they disappear before helping the little camel. However, a falcon, "like the ones who ride on Mama and Baba," hovers before Jamal and leads him to the outskirts of "a great city" (Dubai), where his boy and caravan "[race] across the sand" to greet him. Foreman's watercolor cartoon illustrations are lovely, depicting the swirling sand of the storm and the abrupt calm of a moonlit night. The Dubai skyline, with its imposing skyscrapers and its market with colorful textiles and other wares, provides a sharp contrast to the bare desert landscape. The text contains wonderful alliteration such as "whooshing," "whirling," and "wild wind," but the story itself is somewhat predictable. Jamal's winsome face may just capture readers' hearts, though, and hold their attention throughout his temporary predicament. VERDICT An additional purchase for group sharing.—Marianne Saccardi, Children's Literature Consultant, Cambridge, MA - Copyright 2017 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.