Book Talk: The Smiling Camel by Loretta Anne Orr
A charming story full of lessons for little ones.
— Amy,The BookWalker
The Smiling Camel is a true story. Author Loretta Anne Orr retired from a thirty-four–year teaching career started painting animal portraits to illustrate how animals have varied personalities and emotions, just like us humans. She wanted people to be aware of these emotions and to view them in a more personal way. But Loretta needed inspiration for her portraits.
Aha! The zoo!
With resoluteness to meet new animal friends, Operetta went to the Cincinnati Zoo in May 2013. She was smiling and looking around, loving every moment around the animals in the zoo when she spotted a camel.
The camel looked shy and uncomfortable. A family of three was trying to get a picture of her, but she turned away with unhappy eyes. Loretta felt terrible for the family of three and felt sorry for the camel. Why was she so sad? The zoo was a beautiful place, and it was a lovely day. The keepers were kind, and the kids and their families loved all the animals. What made the camel so unhappy?
Loretta looked closely, and it hit her—the camel was without her precious hair!
Camels shed their winter coats, and when they do, they sometimes look a bit of a fright. The camel didn’t want her picture taken when she was without her fur—one of the amazing things that makes her a beautiful creature.
When Loretta understood the camel’s woe, she felt even sadder, but she found her mission too: she’d make the camel feel better! What did Loretta do? What did she say to the camel? Loretta understood that camels and all the other animals are like humans. They need comfort from time to time, and they need to be reminded that they are perfect the way they are—like little boys and girls around the world. In the end, the camel rewarded Loretta with a smile—a smile Loretta will remember for the rest of her life.
The Smiling Camel is a beautiful children’s story that every child deserves to read and learn about.
More importantly, every child needs to be reminded they are perfect and loved just the way they are. See if that doesn’t make them smile.
Reviews and What Readers Say
" What a wonderful children’s book. It not only teaches children that animals have feelings too, but it also teaches children to have confidence in their self, and that you don’t have to be pretty to be loved, that everyone is beautiful in their own way.This book is a wonderful, simple read, that would make a great bedtime story."
—Dawne, Amazon Reader's Review, Verified Purchase
" I purchased this book & read it to my Grandchildren. You should have seen the Smile on their faces. They loved it! Buy a copy & make a child Smile."
—Ardis D. Geiseman, Amazon Reader's Review, Verified Purchase
" Loved it, very cute story after I read mine I got 2 more copies for my nephews"
—Jason Proakis, Amazon Reader's Review, Verified Purchase
" This story is so good for children. It helps them to understand how taking just a few minutes of their time to smile at someone and be kind to them truly can make a difference. Animals have feelings too and need love, just like us!Great story with a good moral that is easy for children to read."
—Diane McClarty, Amazon Reader's Review, Verified Purchase
Recommended for ages: 5-7
Review by Amy Alcott
Disclosure: This article is a personal endorsement of the professional reviewer. The BookWalker is disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.
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Loretta Anne Orr, the 2nd oldest of 5 children, was born in Altoona, Pennsylvania. When Loretta was 14, her family moved to Pacific Grove, California, back to the Harrisburg, Pennsylvania area for several years, and finally to Whitehall, Pennsylvania, where Loretta graduated from Baldwin-Whitehall High School in 1968.After high school, Loretta attended Edinboro University, where she earned a BS in Art Education degree and subsequently was hired as an elementary art teacher in Industry, Pennsylvania. Loretta was then employed by the Center Area School District, in Monaca, Pennsylvania, where she taught for the next 34 years, retiring in 2007. Loretta did her graduate work at Geneva College in Beaver Falls, Pennsylvania, earning her BS in Elementary degree.During her teaching career, Loretta was a kindergarten teacher, third grade teacher, and also taught art from k-12, with the most time teaching middle school art grades 6,7 and 8.In 2001 Loretta was asked to attend the Teacher Excellence Awards in Pittsburgh, and she also received an "Above and Beyond Award" and a clock from the Superintendent of Schools in 1990.After retiring, Loretta pursued other interests, and because of her deep love for animals traveled to many zoos to take pictures for her paintings. She exhibits her animal portraits at the Midland Art Council's Summer Gallery Exhibition held at the Lincoln Park Performing Arts Center. During a trip to the Cincinnati Zoo in 2013, Loretta had an unexpected and heartwarming experience with a camel. This inspired her to write her first book, a children's book, "The Smiling Camel."