Genre: Animals / Circus / Bravery / Self-Esteem
Year Published: 1984
Year Read: 2016
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Company
Now, it has been awhile since I have read a book by Bill Peet since at one time, I was reading various books by him all at once. I had taken a break from reading Bill Peet’s books due to checking out other picture books at the time and now, I have come back to reading another Bill Peet book, which is called “Pamela Camel” and it was quite an interesting read!
Pamela Camel was a camel who belonged to the Brinkerhoff Brothers Big Top Circus and unfortunately, she could not do any tricks like the other circus animals and she was not considered beautiful. So, the only thing that Pamela could do is stand in the menagerie tent and be stared at and ridiculed by the bystanders and the worst part is that the bystanders keep calling her “dumb,” “stupid” and “bad-tempered.” One day, Pamela decided that she had enough of her miserable life at the circus and she decides to run away and live in a barn located in the alfalfa field. But just as Pamela was about to get settled into her new life, she realizes that there is a break in the train tracks and that if she does not warn anyone of the break in the tracks, then the train will meet with a tragic accident!
Can Pamela save the train from crashing?
Read this book to find out!
What I always loved about Bill Peet’s works is that most of his books deal with the importance of being yourself no matter how different you are from other people. What was so inspiring about this particular book was that it focused on the importance of bravery and it was great seeing that despite the fact that Pamela was not able to perform impressive circus tricks like the other circus animals; she still finds another talent that makes her special and that is her bravery! Bill Peet’s artwork is truly beautiful as I loved the fact that he uses mostly crayons to color in the characters and the settings. It is rare to see artwork being done entirely in crayon and colored pencils since most artwork in children’s books are done in watercolor paints and Bill Peet has definitely made his artwork stand out by using this traditional style.
The reason why I took off half a point from the rating was because I felt like the pacing for this book was a bit slow in some parts and I almost felt the need to rush through this book just to get to the more interesting bits of the story.
Overall, “Pamela Camel” is a truly inspiring tale about the importance of bravery and the fact that you can find your own special talent if you believe in yourself, which sends a touching message to many children. I would recommend this book to children ages five and up since there is nothing inappropriate in this book, unless you do not want small children repeating the phrases “dumb” and “stupid.”