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Hairy Hezekiah Hardcover – August 21, 2007

4.7 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews


"King-Smith expertly juggles the comedic and the informational—readers may be surprised by how much they will learn about the species—and Bruel's ... cartoon art enhances both the initial poignancy and the playfulness of this tale."
--Publishers Weekly
"Amiable animal ramble from King-Smith ... will please newly independent readers."
--Kirkus Reviews
"An ideal early chapter book."
--School Library Journal

About the Author

Dick King-Smith (1922-2011) was the author of dozens of popular books for children, including Babe: The Gallant Pig and The Water Horse, both of which were adapted into major motion pictures. Born in Gloucestershire, England, King-Smith served in World War II, farmed for twenty years and, later, taught elementary school. The inspiration for many of his best-selling animal stories came from his farm and his animals.
Nick Bruel is the author and illustrator of New York Times bestseller Boing, Bad Kitty, Bad Kitty Gets a Bath and Bad Kitty Meets the Baby, among others. Nick is a freelance illustrator and cartoonist, and during his down time, he collects PEZ dispensers and grows tomatoes in the backyard. He lives in Tarrytown, NY with his wife Carina and their lovely cat Esmerelda.

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Product Details

  • Age Range: 7 - 10 years
  • Grade Level: 2 - 5
  • Lexile Measure: 940L (What's this?)
  • Hardcover: 96 pages
  • Publisher: Roaring Brook Press (August 21, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1596433183
  • ISBN-13: 978-1596433182
  • Product Dimensions: 6.4 x 0.6 x 7.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,760,064 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Top Customer Reviews

By Richard and Liz TOP 500 REVIEWER on February 19, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
The kids and I were SO into this story that we sat and read it all in one sitting. In typical Dick King-Smith British humor, Hairy Hezekiah has you smiling from the beginning. Hezekiah is lonely in his small pen at the zoo so figures out a way to undo the latch to his pen and finds FREEDOM! Now you have to understand, that although Hezekiah cannot speak human language he can communicate with the other animals and vice versa.

As Hezekiah makes his way around the zoo looking for a friend, he first meets the lions who want to eat him. Moving on quickly he then see the gorillas and the chimps in the Ape House but is not too impressed with them either. After the Aviary and the Monkey Temple he realizes that he forgot to have a drink that morning so takes a visit to the Gents! He drinks all the water in the toilets and then figures out how to turn the tap on. Tired and cold, he heads to the Ladies where he promptly falls asleep until the next morning. Imagine the cleaner's surprise the next morning!

Escaping out of the zoo when one of the zoo personnel open the front gates, he heads up over the hill. The following day finds in a field of Holstein cows where the conversation about udders and humps is quite amusing. Asking the cows advice, they advise him to go to Shortseat Safari Park owned by Lord Basin. (Just as a side note, this is actually based on Longleat Safari Park in Wiltshire, England owned by Lord Bath, at time of this book being written, where they do in fact have the endangered Bactrian camels.)

Lord Basin is absolutely thrilled when Hezekiah turns up at the steps of the manor house and there continues a great story about the two of them. Will Hezekiah allow Lord Basin to ride him? Will he ever find a mate?

Dick King-Smith is a wonderful children's author. We have read many of his books and liked them all. They are funny, clean, well written and illustrated. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED from our house to yours!
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Format: Hardcover
Dick King Smith is such an inspiration. He started his writing career later in life, after having already tried his hand at farming, teaching, and TV presenting (and doing them all well, I might add, although he claims in his biography, Chewing the Cud: An Extraordinary Life Remembered by the Author of Babe: The Gallant Pig, that he was not a very good farmer.) He has written dozens of books, all of them effortlessly readable. His most recent offering (at least on this side of the pond) is Hairy Hezekiah, about a Bactrian camel who is lonely in his zoo environment and sets off to find friendship and adventure in the big world. His journey takes him to the Safari Park, Shortseat, located in the English countryside. I have a sneaking suspicion that Shortseat is modeled after Longleat Safari Park, in Wiltshire. The fact that Longleat is the ancestral home of the Marquess of Bath, and the aristocrat in this book is called The Earl of Basin supports my theory. I have visited Longleat--long time ago, now--so perhaps I've actually met Hairy Hezekiah himself. King-Smith uses a friendly, conversational voice for his story, and this tone is reinforced by Nick Bruel's humorous black and white illustrations. This is just right for early chapter readers and will get them primed for some of King-Smith's meatier books, such as Babe: The Gallant Pig (Babe) and (my personal favorite) Martin's Mice.
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Format: Kindle Edition
Hairy Hezakiah is a camel at the zoo. He has no other fellow camels, so he is especially lonely. One day he discovers that he can open the latch on his gate. He decides to escape. How will he survive?! What new people (and animals) will he meet? And What about the pesky people who want to put him back in the zoo!?
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