Daniel The Camp-er: A book review

Book review:Daniel The Camp-er

A book review of Daniel The Camp-er by S.J. Henderson

S.J.Henderson has written two books in a series, Daniel The Draw-er, and Daniel The Camp-er. She is relaunching this book at the end of August, and I have received an ARC copy in exchange for honest review.

Daniel the Camp-er (Daniel the Draw-er #2)Daniel the Camp-er by S.J. Henderson
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

You can purchase the books from Amazon (Daniel The Draw-er is free, and Daniel The Camp-er is available for .99 cents or 268 ₹).


Introduction by the Author/Publisher

There are a few simple rules Daniel follows:

Rule One: never let an adult see your weakness. Daniel made that mistake and look where he ended up—summer camp.

Rule Two: never make fun of the person who feeds you, unless you like Miss Gunderson’s peppery pancakes and green hamburgers.

Rule Three: Stay away from girls who love Glitter Ponies. They have cooties, after all.

And Rule Four: never, ever lose your magic pencil.

But Daniel has broken all of his rules. Now he’s stuck and starving at Camp Bigfoot with the school bully as his bunk-mate and an ooey-gooey girl who won’t leave him alone. If all of that wasn’t bad enough, his prized possession, a pencil that brings his drawings to life, has gone missing, and wacky creatures are popping up all over the camp.

Can Daniel survive Camp Bigfoot and find his magic pencil before it’s too late?

Book cover

I loved the cover, so appropriate for the theme and targeted readers.

Readability according to age group

S.J. Henderson has taken us back to our childhood by unleashing the highly imaginative, super creative Daniel’s world on us.

The language is simple, emotions well depicted, usage of imagery, perfect. You can visualize every scenario well enough to place yourself in Daniel’s shoes.

The narrative runs at a fast pace, with intervals of leisure. One time, you are in an ‘I-don’t-know-what-to-do, so-cry-for-mommy’ situation. Next moment, you are sitting on your bed and drawing an apology gift for your friend.

A fantasy world of a magic pencil, Pizza-Bot, aliens, other crazy creatures the author, or rather her creation, Daniel has conjured, makes this book a complete package.


This book shows a slightly more mature (well, huh!) Daniel, who doesn’t want to go on a summer camp, and wants to stay home instead. The author continues exploring Daniel and Annie’s friendship while other characters make entry. Compared to Daniel The Draw-er, Daniel The Camp-er is more extensive, on some pages and subplots.

Daniel creates more dangerous and strange creatures with his magic pencil (how did it come with him to his camp!) in this book. Food is so bad that Daniel misses his mom’s meatloaf.
To cope with his miseries, Daniel creates a superhero ‘Super-Amazing-Pants’ aka SAP whose nemesis is Dr. Shorts Shorts.

Daniel The Camp-er is a fascinating account of Daniel becoming more creative and making new friends. He fights bullies with the help of aliens created by his magic pencil; he makes friends with initially-annoying-Bobby Lou, fights ‘crimes of fashion’ (yep, you heard me right) with a loony superhero, he shows definite signs of personal development.

The apparent incompetence of adults is justifiable when looked through a child’s eyes.

The pace of the narrative is good, but there are times when I lose interest, probably because I am not in middle-grade anymore. As an adult, I found the events somewhat repetitive, but nonetheless enjoyable.


Daniel’s life revolves around an adorable but manipulating cat, a moody Annie, a ghost-seeing-Rain Stevens, an over-friendly Bobby Lou aka Glitter-pony, bullies like Bucky, adult camp director, cook and other staff (like Marq-with-a-Q), who clearly are not at ease with children. Annie’s purple unicorn Macaroni revisits.

Why rating 3 and not 4

I loved the first book due to its uniqueness, simplicity, and emotional touch.

Daniel The Camp-er has a larger number of characters, and some of the scenes are hilarious, but it couldn’t create the magic of Daniel The Draw-er, maybe because I had already read the first one. As a standalone book, this is still splendid.

Still, my favorite will be Daniel The Draw-er.

My recommendation

Daniel The Camp-er is a book anybody will enjoy. If you are a child or have a child hiding inside you, try this book. We lose most of the active imagination and creative streak we all had as children, by the time we reach an age of parenthood and responsibilities. Consider this book as a temporary portal to those magical days when we only worried about keeping our friends happy, or handling bullies, or managing imaginary creatures that came out of our magic pencils and drawing books.

Details of the book reviewed

Print Length: 261 Pages
Publication Date: February 13, 2015
Language: English
Genre: Children’s eBooks > Literature & Fiction > Chapter Books
Growing Up & Facts of Life > Friendship, Social Skills & School Life > Friendship
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