November 18, 2017

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How To Find an Elephant by Kate Banks | SLJ Review

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redstarBANKS, Kate. How To Find an Elephant. illus. by Boris Kulikov. 32p. Farrar/Margaret Ferguson Bks. Nov. 2017. Tr $16.99. ISBN 9780374335083.

PreS-Gr 2 –An imaginative, elephant-loving young explorer goes on an adventure to find one in the wild. Outlining all the necessary supplies an elephant explorer should have, he ventures out, providing a step-by-step guide to addressing the expected and the unexpected as they occur. This title’s approach to the unknowns of exploration is full of humor and pragmatism. Although not the most exciting or adventurous read, it has a good deal of heart and excels at giving young readers interesting facts about elephants such as, “don’t expect to hear the elephant’s footsteps, because they walk on tiptoe” or “elephants are fine swimmers.” Readers also learn that the pachyderms have large appetites, so having plenty of bamboo shoots and tree bark handy is helpful. However, the book’s greatest achievement is its illustration, which perfectly meshes with the text. The lush shades of green, blue, and brown in the landscape allow for subtle optical illusions in the wild that young readers will enjoy identifying. VERDICT For extra-curious, nature-loving, budding explorers, this engaging title is a real treat.–Maegen Rose, Collegiate School, New York City

This review was published in the School Library Journal November 2017 issue.

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