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What's the Matter, Habibi?
     

What's the Matter, Habibi?

by Betsy Lewin
 

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Habibi (Arabic for "my darling") is a camel who usually seems to enjoy his work, giving rides to children. But one day Habibi lies down and absolutely will not get up. "What's the matter?" asks Ahmed, Habibi's owner. Could it be a toothache? A tummy-ache? Habibi isn't telling, but a trip to the Bazaar solves the problem and leaves both Ahmed and Habibi happy.

Overview


Habibi (Arabic for "my darling") is a camel who usually seems to enjoy his work, giving rides to children. But one day Habibi lies down and absolutely will not get up. "What's the matter?" asks Ahmed, Habibi's owner. Could it be a toothache? A tummy-ache? Habibi isn't telling, but a trip to the Bazaar solves the problem and leaves both Ahmed and Habibi happy. Inspired by a real-life camel and driver Betsy Lewin met in Egypt, this frolicsome new picture book will delight any child.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
One day a camel who gives rides to children refuses to get up. Habibi's devoted owner can't figure out why, but the camel manages to restore a spring to his step by trading his owner's slippers for a dashing scarlet fez that makes Habibi the object of wide admiration. Lewin's (Chubbo's Pool) agile, spontaneous-looking watercolors combine graceful scrawls and squiggles with watercolor washes, humorously depicting the owner's struggle with his stubborn charge and Habibi's frisky stride through the purple-shadowed crowds of the bazaar. The art adds a lot of style to little substanceperhaps fitting for a tale in which the narrative problem is solved by a new hat. Ages 3-8. (Aug.)
Children's Literature - Meredith Kiger
Habibi, the camel, spends most of his time giving rides to children. One day, he runs away through the market place. His owner, Ahmed, is bewildered by Habibi's behavior and gives chase. He finally finds Habibi preening with his newly acquired fez. Giving rides to children has taken on some style. Turkish words and scenes provide some authenticity to the tale by author/illustrator Lewin.
School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 2Lewin's expressive, playful line-and-watercolor illustrations bring to life this funny tale. Habibi, a camel, and his owner, Ahmed, work each day giving rides to children. One day, Habibi refuses to get up. Puzzled, Ahmed wonders if the animal's feet hurt and offers him his own babouches, or shoes. Habibi runs off in them to the bazaar where he trades them for a brilliant red fez with a black tassel. Ahmed buys back his own shoes and follows the proud camel back to their stand. Ahmed and Habibi are joyfully reunited and all ends well. Lewin's sense of whimsy shines throughout: readers get their first hint of trouble on the title page, as a blissfully unaware Ahmed leads an interested Habibi past the fez booth. The Arab locale is depicted as a mix of old and new; the traditional bazaar is peopled with shoppers and merchants wearing both traditional and modern dress. Lewin masterfully conveys who is truly the boss in Habibi and Ahmed's warm and enduring friendship; the camel's self-satisfied expression as he returns from the bazaar speaks volumes. This book will be fun for sharing, either one-on-one or with a storytime audience.Marilyn Taniguchi, Santa Monica Public Library, CA
From the Publisher
"This has the pace of a good read-aloud, as Habibi trots through the bazaar." The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780618432424
Publisher:
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Publication date:
05/24/2004
Edition description:
Reprint
Pages:
32
Product dimensions:
7.75(w) x 10.00(h) x 0.16(d)
Lexile:
AD430L (what's this?)
Age Range:
4 - 7 Years

Meet the Author


BETSY LEWIN is the heralded illustrator of Duck for President; Giggle, Giggle, Quack; and the Caldecott Honor-winning Click, Clack, Moo: Cows That Type, all written by Doreen Cronin. She lives in Brooklyn, New York.

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