A young camel is lost in a sandstorm then finds his way to his owners.
Foreman’s straightforward text and soft double-page spreads with the look of watercolor and pencil take readers directly into his tale: “Walk, walk, walk. That’s what camels do.” Jamal, a “little camel,” admires his parents’ long legs and envies the falcons, who either ride or travel on their own strong wings. Still, Jamal seems cheerful enough until a sandstorm suddenly erupts. By the time it passes, night has come, and he is alone. Jamal encounters several animals the following day, but none offers help. When he spots a falcon circling above, Jamal follows. Soon he spies the modern city of Dubai—and the group of travelers moving toward it. Rather than ending with the reunion of Jamal, his parents, and their Bedouin owners (including a jubilant little boy), Foreman carries his tale and the travelers into the bustling marketplace—as well as a briefly imagined future. Brightly colored textiles and the varying shapes of other wares provide a pleasing contrast to the relatively barren, though beautifully depicted, desert that dominates the previous pictures. Wide eyes and expressive faces on the various animals also help to add a little interest.
Adults will likely appreciate this low-key introduction to a far-off place, but young listeners may not find quite enough action or context to make the trip worthwhile. (Picture book. 4-8)