cover image What's the Matter, Habibi?

What's the Matter, Habibi?

Betsy Lewin. Clarion Books, $15 (32pp) ISBN 978-0-395-85816-5

One day a camel who gives rides to children refuses to get up. Habibi's devoted owner can't figure out why, but the camel manages to restore a spring to his step by trading his owner's slippers for a dashing scarlet fez that makes Habibi the object of wide admiration. Lewin's (Chubbo's Pool) agile, spontaneous-looking watercolors combine graceful scrawls and squiggles with watercolor washes, humorously depicting the owner's struggle with his stubborn charge and Habibi's frisky stride through the purple-shadowed crowds of the bazaar. The art adds a lot of style to little substance--perhaps fitting for a tale in which the narrative problem is solved by a new hat. Ages 3-8. (Aug.)