I am excited to share a debut trade picture book that not only takes us around the world but was written by my Cardinal Rule Press publishing sibling. I’ve had a front row seat watching the process from illustrations to cover reveal to book launch. I’m so happy to see it being enjoyed by young readers.
RAJA’S PET CAMEL: The Magic of Hope
By Anita Nahta Amin (author) and Parwinder Singh (illustrator)
Cardinal Rule Press 2020
Picture book ages 4-8
Setting: the Thar Desert in Rajasthan, India
Themes: Hope, perseverance, pets
The story begins:
As Raja walked home from
school, a lone baby camel cried.
When Raja discovers a young camel, he befriends it with the dates in his shiny lunch tin. They cuddle and play. Raja names him Kamal and decides to keep him as a pet.
But Raja’s father, Bapu, disagrees. Animals work. They aren’t pets- there just isn’t time. But he listens to Raja’s pleas and agrees that Kamal can stay until they find a home for him.
Unfortunately, Kamal is wild and causes all sorts of problems from knocking down fences, to smashing pots, and eating all the dates.
When Bapu decides that it is time to sell the camel at the fair, Raja has another idea. Knowing there will be a camel race, he decides to train Kamal in the hope of winning money so that Bapu will let the camel stay with them. Kamal cooperates, but only when offered dates.
When they reach the fair, Raja does his best to discourage people from buying Kamal. He enters the race but can’t find any dates to encourage Kamal. Off they go and Kamal and Raja do their best to keep up with the larger camels until Kamal spies a man with dates and trouble follows.
Kamal returns home with Raja. After all, he’s only a baby camel and nobody wants to buy him. Perhaps, Raja suggests, they can train him to guard the goats.
Why you need to add RAJA’S PET CAMEL: The Magic of Hope to your book shelves:
- Set in the Thar Desert in Rajasthan, the vibrant illustrations show traditional aspects of the region where the book is set. The fabrics, clothing, animals, and dwellings bring Raja’s village to life.
- There aren’t many picture books set in India and this one is exceptional in showing how, even though our surroundings and lifestyles are different, children have the same wishes and desires.
- Raja is a boy that all children will want to have as a friend. They will be rooting for him to be able to keep the camel.
- The back matter includes interesting facts about life in the desert region including meals, musical instruments, and transportation.
- RAJA’S PET CAMEL is a great book to read aloud. The text and illustrations are filled with humor and children will laugh when they see the trouble that Kamal gets into. And, who wouldn’t want a pet camel?
Here is a postcard from author Anita Amin to readers of RAJA’S PET CAMEL: The Magic of Hope
Visit Anita Amin’s website to learn more about the inspiration behind RAJA’S PET CAMEL: The Magic of Hope.