Book Review of Amal the Thirsty Gamal: A Christmas Tale
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The Children’s Book Review
Created by Robert Schorr
Illustrated by Kristina Koontz
Ages 6-10 | 38 Pages
Publisher: Mascot Books | ISBN-13: 978-1-645438694
What to Expect: Self-perception, confidence, spirituality
Amal the Thirsty Gamal is a unique story about a camel with a little hump and how he struggled with the other camels’ perception of him. His fellow gamals tell Amal that his lack of a hump has left him with “practically no room for water at all; which meant he was thirsty most of the time and out in the desert that’s not a good sign!” Eventually, he is chosen to go on a caravan journey with “wise men” who reveal that Amal’s lack of a hump makes him the perfect gamal for carrying a valuable gift, and that’s when everything changes for Amal.
Robert Schorr has created a rhyming story that will appeal to anyone who has struggled with self-confidence. Amal is a relatable character whose insecurities affect how he perceives himself and his abilities. Schorr uses “wise men” to show readers that our perceived flaws are often just that—self-perceived. Coupled with soft and colorful illustrations that reflect the author’s words, Amal the Thirsty Gamal will appeal to older readers who will relate to Amal, and younger readers who will appreciate the sing-song rhyme patterns. The sing-song quality also makes this story a good choice for a bedtime read-aloud.
One thing to note is that this book is labeled as a Christmas tale. While it quietly speaks to the wonder of Jesus’s birth and sends the message that everyone has a purpose in God’s eyes, it is a sweet, fun-to-read story with a strong message of self-empowerment and redemption.
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About the Author
Robert Schorr resides in San Clemente, California, with his wife Sharilyn. They have two sons, now grown with families of their own now. For twenty-six years he served as Senior Pastor at Calvary Chapel Old Towne in Orange, California. Prior to that, he and his family lived in Asia for seventeen years, where he served as Professor of British and American Literature at Christ’s College in Tanshui, Taiwan, and later pastored a Hakka Church in the rural town of San Yi. He is the contributing author of The Morning Frigate: a weblog that explores the great treasures of our literature. He is a private pilot; loves flying, hiking the Sierras, fly-fishing, Chinese translation, and, most of all, writing.
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