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Reviewed by Mamta Madhavan for Readers' Favorite
Raja was coming back from school when he heard a baby camel crying. It was alone and it kicked sand at Raja when he tried to pet it. Its mood changed when it saw Raja's lunch tin and had the leftover lentils and dates which Raja fed him. They played games and cuddled under a tree. Raja had been wanting a pet for a long time and he named the camel Kamal. Raja's father did not want to keep it but he agreed to keep it until they found a home for it. Kamal was wild and caused too much trouble for everyone so Bapu decided to sell it at the fair. Raja was heartbroken but he remembered the camel race at the fair. He knew his Bapu would be pleased if they won and got money so he and Kamal practiced for it the entire afternoon. What happened at the camel race? Did Raja and Kamal win the race?
Raja's Pet Camel: The Magic of Hope by Anita Nahta Amin is an adorable story set in India and is also a story of perseverance, love, and hope. The illustrations by Parwinder Singh are bright and colorful and they bring the characters to life and make the story tangible to readers. The book also gives interesting facts about the Thar Desert in Rajasthan which is quite informative and educational to readers and gives them glimpses about how people live there. The story is good for read-aloud and storytelling sessions in classrooms and homes. Tutors and parents will find it a good tool to introduce children to pets and how to deal with them. I enjoyed the 'Before Reading, During Reading, and After Reading' part; it is a good way to make children reflect on what they are going to read and what they have read in an entertaining way.