On the cover of diverse book The Wooden Camel a young boy rides a camel across the deserts of Kenya
In a scene from The Wooden Camel, a Kenyan boy watches over his goats
In a scene from The Wooden Camel, a young boy and his pet goat take a nap amongst a tree's branches
In a scene from The Wooden Camel, a Kenyan girl carves out a camel from a block of wood
In a scene from The Wooden Camel, a Kenyan brother and sister hug each other

The Wooden Camel

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 Written by WANURI KAHIU | Illustrated by MANUELA ADREANI


Etabo dreams of being a camel racer. But with the price of water rising, Etabo’s father must sell the camels, and his siblings must find work. What will Etabo do now? This story of love and hope centres on the inspiring Turkana people of north-west Kenya. Told with gentleness and humour, it is a universal story about keeping one’s dreams alive.


*Children’s Africana Book Award Honour Book
*A Bank Street Best Children’s Book of the Year

*Kate Greenaway Medal 2018 (nomination)
*21 Must Reads for Empathy by EmpathyLabUK and The Sunday Times
*SLJ Books to Celebrate Black History Month STARRED Review

'A gift. A burst of dreamy and imaginative details. This is one stunning piece of work worth celebrating' – Brittle Paper 

'A captivating story about self-sacrifice, kinship, and the joys of the imagination. A story that will never lose its magic' – The Tiger Tales

Book Details

Reading Age: 4-6 years
Extent: 32 pages
Book size: 24 x 24 cm
Pub Date: 12th April 2017 (softcover) | June 2018 (hardcover) | 
ISBN (softcover): 978-1-911373-13-1
ISBN (hardcover): 978-1-911373-15-5

Customer Reviews

Based on 2 reviews
So appealing!

One of my daughters couldn't resist this cover and so we took this title from the library. Then, as we read, I was so delighted to find it captivating and refreshing! I loved talking with my girls about the story and that it had depth *to* talk about. They loved that the power of imagination was such a feature.

Imaginative and packed with discussion points

This is a super story about a boy who wants to race camels. It is probably more suited to children 6 years and older as there are some complicated ideas you could discuss about why, for example, the family have had to sell off all their camels. The boy does pray to a Sky God (not the Christian God) so if that is a sensitivity in your setting, that is something to note - it is probably not relevant for most people though. The answer to his prayer is wooden camel toys and his imagination (sorry for the spoiler!) so if you were doing any kind of school unit on toys / imagination it may be useful.