Friday, 5 May 2017

The Wooden Camel by Wanuri Kahiu

illustrated by Manuela Adreani

review by Maryom

Etabo is too small to race camels, but he watches his brother racing and imagines it must feel like flying. One day, he's sure, he'll be better than his brother, possibly even the best camel racer ever. Times are hard for his family though. The cost of necessities like water is rising, and Etabo's father is forced to sell their camels. Left alone to look after the family gosts, Etabo can still dream ... but is it enough?

We can't always have what we want. Sometimes hopes and dreams have to be put on hold for a while - and waiting a month can seem like forever to a child. This universal story of keeping those dreams alive through imagination could have been set anywhere, but by choosing the dry desert of the north-west of her native Kenya, Wanuri Kahiu introduces children to a life very different to their own. Here we expect to turn on a tap and fill our glasses and mugs with clean water for 'free'; to live in a place where such a necessity can become almost too expensive to buy seems shocking, but sadly this is the case in many areas of the world. Children won't realise they're learning about the world though, they'll be caught up in Etabo's story, and wondering how he will follow his dreams.
Illustrator Manuela Adreani brings Etabo's world to life in colourful full page spreads that capture the arid heat, dry sandy ground, and, of course, the swiftness of camels.
The Wooden Camel is a lovely book which emphasises that no matter how different our lives may be we all have dreams, and through our imagination can pursue them.

Publisher - Lantana
genre - children's picture book,

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