Humphrey's First Christmas

Humphrey’s First Christmas
by Carol Heyer.

Reading new holiday books is always a treasure hunt.  Some of the titles will be surprising and wonderful while other are distinctly NOT. 

This is one of the treasures.  Humphrey is a camel who is part of the caravan taking the kings to the baby Jesus.  But most of the story is dedicated to Humphrey mourning the loss of his blanket.  He has a plan to get a new blanket from his master by disturbing and bothering him, and it works!  When they reach the manger, Humphrey is surprised by his reaction to this small shivering child. 

The illustrations in the this book will immediately capture children.  They are filled with closeups of Humphrey in all of his bucktoothed glory.  The image of his long lashes and his eye is a marvelous way to start the book.  The pictures are richly colored, filled with details and almost photo realistic.  One can almost feel the chill of the desert at night. 

The prose is also very rich.  The story begins and ends with similar phrases, making it a nicely framed tale.  The language of a grumbling camel is perfectly captured as well. 

Highly recommended as a Christmas tale for ages 4-8.