Camel Fables from the Sailors of the Sudan
by Thurlow R. Weed, Jr.
Infinity Publishing

"A wise camel once said, 'The easy steps through your life are often right at your feet, be patient and you’ll find them.'"

While there are children’s books dedicated to nearly every creature imaginable, camels are rarely given a moment to shine. However, camels of all shapes and sizes take center stage in this compilation of 41 fascinating tales. More than just providers of transportation, these camels use wisdom and whimsy to solve problems of every kind, often saving lives in the process. “The Emperor of the Oasis” is a particularly charming tale, presenting a fictional origin of the name “Fig Newton.” In this delightful story, a fig-loving camel named Newton saves a lost caravan by following his memory to an oasis filled with juicy figs. However, offering more than just amusing anecdotes, the author reveals a clear admiration for the perseverance and patience of animals, a central premise he expresses beautifully: “Watching animals that we think have a hard life can reveal why we must learn to slow down, back up in order to reason out problems differently.”

Set amid the mysteries of ancient Egypt, this work immerses young readers in educational and exciting landscapes, filled with desert caravans, fierce sandstorms, and wily bandits. There are some typos and grammatical errors to be found, but the work compensates for these issues with unique and humorous storytelling. Although this is a children’s work, with fanciful imagery that will delight many youths, the complexity of the writing and subject matter may exceed the ability of very young children. That said, youths pre-teen and older, especially those intrigued by history and far-away lands, will be swept away by the author’s bold envisioning of ancient lore and the lives of the desert-dwelling camel on whom so many societies depended.

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