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Hairy Hezekiah


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This is the story of Hezekiah the camel, the hairiest animal in the shire! A hilariously hairy story from the bestselling, award-winning Dick King-Smith.

About the Author

DICK KING-SMITH was a Gloucestershire farmer until the age of 45, when he gave up farming to become a primary school teacher. Now a bestselling full-time author, his work has received many awards including a Bronze Medal for the Smarties Prize of l997 for All Because of Jackson and the Children's Book Award in l995 for Harriet's Hare. In l992, he was also voted Children's Author of the Year. In l995, his top-selling title The Sheep-Pig was developed into a box-office movie, BABE, introducing hundreds of thousands of youngsters to his work.


Gr 2-4-Hezekiah, a grumpy old Bactrian camel, is lonely. There are no other camels at the zoo for him to talk to. One day he figures out how to open the gate to his paddock and he's off on an amazing and funny adventure. He encounters children and some humorous Holsteins that direct him to the great country estate of the Earl of Basin, who has established a wildlife safari park on his grounds. Hezekiah decides that this is the man he needs to see. The Earl has a real affinity for camels, having ridden one when he was a boy, and he arranges for Hezekiah to live in his park. By the end, he also serves as a matchmaker by arranging to trade a gorilla for Hephzibah, "a beautiful brown hairy young female Bactrian camel." Information on camels is subtly introduced into this story, which is enhanced by Bruel's amusing line drawings. With word repetition, some challenging vocabulary, graphic support, and comical characters, this is an ideal early chapter book.-Elaine Lesh Morgan, Multnomah County Library, Portland, OR Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information.

Polished raconteur King-Smith (Babe: The Gallant Pig) adds another cheerful animal caper to his repertoire, introducing a hairy Bactrian camel who is the sole member of his species in an English zoo. Hoping to find a pal, the lonely creature escapes from his paddock and roams around the zoo. But friends are nowhere to be found: the lions threaten to eat him, the chimps laugh at him and a parrot insults his appearance. Hezekiah then lumbers through the countryside, where he "wreaked a trail of havoc," leaving behind broken gates, smashed fences and holes in hedges, thus enabling other animals to leave their pastures and amble where they like. When the camel expresses a desire "to find somewhere safe to go, somewhere with lots of space," some Holstein cows point him in the direction of a safari park, located on the grounds of an earl's estate. That debonair fellow (who sports a bushy beard and mustache) is immediately enchanted by his visitor: "They looked into each other's eyes, and perhaps because each was so hairy, both felt that they were kindred spirits and had become-and would always continue to be-best friends." King-Smith expertly juggles the comedic and the informational-readers may be surprised by how much they will learn about the species-and Bruel's (Poor Puppy) cartoon art enhances both the initial poignancy and the playfulness of this tale. Ages 7-10. (Aug.) Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information.

"The master of animal adventures" * Independent on Sunday *
"This deliciously funny tale will have readers of all ages laughing out loud. Dick King-Smith is a master at giving his animal characters wonderful personalities complete with amusing accents and colourful language" * Through the Looking Glass *
"A hilariously hairy tale . . . Perfect for 6+" -- Amanda Craig * The Times *
"King-Smith is an established talent for making beasts into believable characters which makes his tales funny and exciting" * Junior *
"Sparkling humour and wonderful characters are Dick King-Smith's trademarks" * Books for Your Children *

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