You know how they tell you not to judge a book by its cover? Well, with “Humpfree the Humpless Camel,” ignore that advice. The cover, with its portrayal of a startled-looking flat-backed camel floating over the desert with balloons tied around his midsection promises a humorous tale, and that promise is fully delivered.
Told in rhyme, the story centers around – you guessed it – a humpless camel named Humpfree (it did strike me that his parents weren’t very kind when picking his name – I mean, that’s kind of like naming your baby Bignose or Pigeontoes).
Humpfree is understandably upset that he’s not like the other camels, and spends most of the story trying to find replacement humps. From balloons to boulders, from feathers to sandbags, Humpfree tries out anything vaguely hump-shaped… but sadly, nothing works. Finally, despondent over his humpless state, Humpfree sinks into despair. But never fear – as it turns out, humpless camels are a valuable breed due to their scarcity, as Humpfree discovers. Learning that his unique flat back makes him special, Humpfree is able to embrace his differences and comes to realize that there’s nothing wrong with being different.
A cool feature of Julia’s books is that in addition to the author and illustrator biographies, there’s a section at the end titled “Mrs. Dweck’s Fun Facts” with some neat facts about camels.
My children and I greatly enjoyed this book – it’s amusing with an important lesson built in. Highly recommended!
* I was given a complimentary E-ARC of this book in exchange for my unbiased review.*