Small Camel Follows the Star

Small Camel Follows the Star

by Rachel W. N. Brown, Giuliano Ferri
     
 

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Wise Balthazar is going on an important journey; he is following a brilliant star and looking for a baby king! Small Camel and his mother are going, too, and Small Camel is carrying a special bundle tied to his hump. What is in the bundle?

Overview


Wise Balthazar is going on an important journey; he is following a brilliant star and looking for a baby king! Small Camel and his mother are going, too, and Small Camel is carrying a special bundle tied to his hump. What is in the bundle?

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"This is a lovely approach to an age-old story."

Kirkus Reviews

"Small Camel's distinct, childlike personality will resonate with young listeners: 'Are we there yet?'"

Booklist

Publishers Weekly

A young, wide-eyed dromedary in service to wise man Balthazar gets a starring role in this oddly revisionist Nativity story. In Brown's tale, the travelers have clearly taken the long way. After following the bright star for "months," they arrive bearing gold, frankincense and myrrh not at a Bethlehem stable, but at what appears to be the Nazareth home of Joseph, Mary and Baby Jesus-who in Ferri's soft, luminous pastels is the size of a toddler. Unfortunately, the text's reassuring tone cannot counterbalance its puzzling timetable. Ages 5-8. (Nov.)

Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information
Children's Literature - Heather Christensen
When a new star appears in the sky, Balthazar asks his newest camel to carry a special bundle on his back. He then joins his two friends, Melchior and Gaspar, and they begin a long and difficult crossing of the desert in search of a new baby king. Along the way Small Camel wonders about this baby, whose birth prompted his master to travel so many miles, and asks his mother when they will see the palace. He is quite surprised, then, when the star leads them instead to a very humble dwelling place. Brown's retelling of this traditional tale is cute but lacks depth. The main characters of Small Camel, his mother, and Balthazar are two-dimensional at best, and the only conflict in the story is Small Camel's sore feet. A historic journey through the wilderness is reduced to cliched complaints of "Are we there yet?" from Small Camel. Ferri's watercolor illustrations are pleasant to look at, with their soft lines and muted colors, but like the text, offer little in the way of insight and complexity. The result is yet another sweet but rather uninspiring Christmas tale.
School Library Journal

PreS-Gr 2-Small Camel follows his mother as part of the caravan of the three wise men journeying to visit the Baby Jesus. Instances of modern speech and complaints of the Small Camel seem jarring against the beauty and significance of the journey as depicted in the masterful, soft-edged illustrations. However, once he presents the bundles of frankincense, myrrh, and gold that he so carefully carried, he becomes awed by Jesus's greatness as a king and is praised kindly by his master, Balthazar. The lovely art outshines the writing in this child-friendly version of a familiar tale.-Lisa Falk, Los Angeles Public Library

Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information
Kirkus Reviews
Small Camel and his mama belong to Balthazar, "a wise and wealthy man." Balthazar plans for a long journey across the desert, and deems Small Camel grown enough for the journey, bearing one small parcel. Following a star, they meet up with Melchior and Gaspar, who study scrolls with Balthazar. They add their gifts to Small Camel's hump and the travelers continue their journey. Because the star is to lead them to a baby king, Small Camel is surprised at the very modest house in which they find Joseph, Mary and the beautiful baby Jesus. When the baby smiles at the gold, frankincense and myrrh that Small Camel has been carrying, the little camel forgets how tired he is. Ferri's pictures have soft edges and glowing desert colors using interesting perspectives to capture Small Camel's point of view. While one might quibble that the Wise Men would not have had codex volumes next to their scrolls as Balthazar does, this is a lovely approach to an age-old story. (Picture book. 5-8)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780807574539
Publisher:
Whitman, Albert & Company
Publication date:
01/01/2007
Pages:
32
Product dimensions:
8.60(w) x 11.00(h) x 0.40(d)
Age Range:
5 - 8 Years

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