Ella WHO?

Ella WHO? illus. by Sara Sanchez. 32p. Sterling. Apr. 2017. Tr $14.95. ISBN 9781454919049.
PreS-Gr 2—This title highlights relationships as a "smallish" elephant comes into contact with a family just moving into a house next door to a wild animal sanctuary. In the confusion of the day, the distracted parents believe the tiny pachyderm, whose name is Fiona, to be a new acquaintance of their little girl. Helpful Fiona lends a trunk with baby Charles, unpacks, joins in a tea party, reads books, plays whiffle ball, and especially loves the pool. When officials come looking for a young elephant named Fiona, no one remembers seeing an elephant in the house, but the description—"Long ears, Big feet, Long proboscis…A tad wrinkly…Dislikes green beans"—fits the new friend to a tee. Digital cartoon art in soft pastels highlights the little girl and her shy and caring neighborhood buddy, while varied font emphasizes the text. Comparable in size, with expressive eyes, the little girl and elephant are a perfect companionable match. Humor abounds in the grown-ups' continual misunderstanding of Fiona's last name, and the final pages give readers a host of ideas for naming future household visitors in this simple introduction to an unusual friendship.
VERDICT A sweet and funny tale about making unlikely friends in familiar places. Great to share one-on-one or in a story program, and a suggested general purchase for all libraries.

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