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Sambasivan & Parikh | Yali Books

Bye, Bye, Motabhai!

Bye, Bye, Motabhai!

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Words By: Kala Sambasivan | Art By: Ambika Sambasivan

Explore the sights and sounds of a bustling city in India with a runaway camel 

Pavan, an overworked camel in the city of Ahmedabad, India, hates his job. He often daydreams of being a racing camel in Dubai. But hitched to a heavy vegetable cart and with his owner Motabhai around, how can he make his dream come true? After creating a traffic jam one morning, Pavan finds a way to escape with a little help from some school children. He makes a mad dash through the city along with Bijilee, a dhobi’s donkey whom he befriends on the way. Can you imagine the riot that this pair causes in the narrow, bustling streets of old Ahmedabad as they race past its historic monuments, with Motabhai, an auto driver, a policeman, and a washerwoman hot on their trail?

This entertaining picture book for older readers follows an ambitious camel as he travels through historic landmarks and cities in India, leaving comedic mayhem in his wake.


South Asia Book Award—Honor Book (2014) 

"An entreaty to chase your ambitions wherever they may lead...thrills with its whimsical collages, cultural lessons, and life advice for readers of all ages."
—Hyphen Magazine

" children get off the ride, they’ll be left thoroughly amused by the adventures of the camel that dreamed big."
—InCulture Parent


Humor, Adventure, Animal Stories, Asia, Working Animals, Camel Racing, Friendship

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Book Details

Reading Level Recommendations

Grades: 3-5

Ages: 7-9

Lexile: 670L

Subject Categories

JUV019000-JUVENILE FICTION / Humorous Stories
JUV039130-JUVENILE FICTION / Social Themes / Runaways
JUV002190-JUVENILE FICTION / Animals / Pets


Paperback: 9780989061506

eBook: 9781949528794

PDF: 9781949528596

Publication Date:

Kala Bio Photo

Meet the Author

Kala Sambasivan is a prolific and inventive children’s writer. She has published numerous stories in India’s leading newspapers and has two long-running columns in The Hindu and Deccan Herald. Her delightfully whimsical tales engage children in complex issues with humor and creativity.

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Ambika Bio Photo 2

Meet the Illustrator

Ambika Sambasivan is an accidental illustrator, puzzle maker, and doll crafter. She loves working with paper and creates distinctive, colorful collages. Her portfolio is also peppered with some pen-and-ink artwork and a dash of Copic coloring, but what’s art without some spice?

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