The Elephant

Pajama Pr. Mar. 2020. 176p. Tr $17.95. ISBN 9781772781021.
Gr 2-5–After Olive’s mom dies, Dad isn’t the same. His eyes are full of rain clouds and he just can’t seem to do the things he used to do. In Olive’s eyes, Dad is shadowed by a big, sad metaphorical elephant. Then Grandad moves in with Olive and Dad. Grandad packs Olive’s lunches, makes her dinners, walks her home from school, and takes her on adventures. But when Olive is injured falling from a climbing tree, she sees Grandad accompanied by a sad, old, grey tortoise. With kindness and caring, Olive seeks creative solutions to help both Grandad and Dad find healing and let go of their heavy companions. In the end, readers learn that Olive has had an animal all along who reflects her emotions as well. Sweet black line illustrations throughout the book complement the narrative and tone.
VERDICT A warm-hearted book of emotional learning, creative problem-solving, and genuine care for others. Recommended for anyone in need of hope for a path to happiness.

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