Below is an annotated list of children's literature for the elementary classroom. The books are organized by the Six Elements of Social Justice Curriculum Design (Picower, 2007). It is based on work by pre-service teachers at Montclair State University. They have read and reviewed these books and provided insights into how they can be used in K-5 settings.

Sunday, February 14, 2016

Cappy the Lonely Camel

Image result for cappy the lonely camel Title:  Cappy the Lonely Camel
                                                                  Author:  Donald Rubinetti
                                                                  Illustrator:  Liisa Chauncy Guida
                                                                  Publisher:  Silver Press
                                                                  Grade Level:  2-4

Although this book is no longer available for purchase in stores, it is available to buy online- http://www.amazon.com/Cappy-Lonely-Camel-Donald-Rubinetti/dp/0382391519/ref=tmm_hrd_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=1455594766&sr=8-1                                                             
This book is found on goodreads.com with reviews:  http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/6199614-cappy-the-lonely-camel


Summary: 
This book is about a camel named Cappy who lives in a village in Asia.  Cappy has two humps on his back and is also smaller and more hairy than the other camels.  Every camel in his village has one hump on their back and because Cappy looks different, he is bullied and mocked; Cappy feels quite neglected.  A camel named Nastella  (who is the biggest bully to Cappy) has a baby who became very sick and there is only one doctor who could help the baby camel and this doctor lives very far away.  The only camel that could make this journey to the doctor to save Nastella’s baby was Cappy.  Cappy has ancestors that are from the north where the weather is frigid, so he knows he could survive.  He leaves his home to make the journey to the north alone to try to get help to save Nastella’s baby.  When he finally makes it to the doctor, she hops in between the two humps on Cappy’s back and they travel back to Cappy’s village to save Nastella’s baby.  Cappy’s physical features, that are different than the other camels’ physical features, help protect him from the harsh weather conditions on his way back to his village.  When the doctor arrives to see Nastella's sick baby, Nastella learns that Cappy traveled to get the doctor and bring her back to the village.  She is so thankful and appreciative that Cappy has done all of this to help save her baby; she is also extremely hurt from all the upsetment and torture she caused Cappy.  Nastella and the camels of the village all apologize to Cappy for how cruel they had treated him. Cappy forgives them and he and Nastella become great friends.


Element 3:
This book portrays element 3 from the 6 elements of social justice.  This book shows readers how a person (or an animal in this case) can be bullied, tormented, and excluded from a social group because of differences.  Cappy was segregated from his community because of the other camels' realization that Cappy looked different than them.  Instead of the camels getting to know Cappy and who he was, they simply judged him by his outside appearance and were unjust in the way they treated himReaders also learn how judgements that were made about Cappy affected how he did not fit into his community.  What is also learned in reading this book are that judgements and stereotypes are often easily made about people who look different and if one was to get to know someone and look beneath physical appearances, one may find someone to be wonderful.


Activity:
This is a great book for teachers to do a read aloud with and conduct a follow-up discussion about bullying and differences that everybody has.  Teachers can ask students to discuss physical differences in people.  Teachers can teach students that although people have differences and different physical features, everyone is good at something, can make a difference in someone’s life, and people should get to know others before passing judgement because there is much more to someone than what is on the outside.  Teachers can then hand out copies of a black and white camel for students to color, add whatever details they want, and make their own.  Every student’s camel will look different and have different features.  Students can then assign their camels a special quality and they can do a “show and tell” for the class.  I would use this book while teaching students about differences and respect.

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