FICTION

Elephantastic!

Elephantastic! illus. by Joëlle Tourlonias. 32p. Peter Pauper. Jan. 2015. Tr $16.99. ISBN 9781441308412.
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PreS-Gr 2—When Andrew discovers a package, he assumes it's for him and opens it, only to find a talking stuffed elephant named Timbo. After offering Timbo cookies and lemonade, Andrew asks to hear about his experiences in Africa. Using imagination—and Andrew's bedroom furniture— the new friends reenact some fantastic adventures: climbing Mount Kilimanjaro, rain dancing, hiding from lions, and creeping around the jungle. When Andrew's mother reminds him to take the package to their neighbor Louise, he is sad to lose his new friend and tries in vain to explain that Timbo is more than "just a stuffed elephant." Luckily, Louise returns with a message for Andrew, and the two kids team up for an "elephantastic" adventure with Timbo. The warm color palette and gentle style of the drawn and painted illustrations match the sweet tone of the story. The subtle details included in the background (jagged line drawings taped to the walls, family photos) create a comfortable, familiar home setting, which is effectively juxtaposed with imaginative outdoor scenes of Andrew's mind. A lovely testament to the power of imagination, adventure, and friendship, this is a rich addition to elementary collections.—Whitney LeBlanc, Staten Island Academy, NY
Assuming the package he finds is for him, Andrew opens it and finds a talking stuffed elephant. Together they go on glorious imaginary adventures through Africa. When Andrew discovers that the toy was meant for his neighbor, he's devastated, but friendship wins out in the end. A soft palette of mostly golds and browns convey the warmth of this story.

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