Can One Balloon Make an Elephant Fly?

Can One Balloon Make an Elephant Fly? illus. by Jeff Newman. 40p. S. & S. Aug. 2016. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9781442452152.
PreS-Gr 2—Balloons and a trip to the zoo spark a young boy's imagination and remind his mother to listen and pay attention to nurturing that spark. Evan and his mom are in a wonderful place, full of learning and fun. Mom is paying more attention to her smartphone than to her son. When she looks, listens, and sees that Evan needs her attention, she realizes that she must follow him on his journey of discovery about the world around him. Pretty soon, elephants and more are flying all around. This book is a delight on so many levels. All children have asked incessant questions, to the irritation and chagrin of the adults around them. Readers and listeners will relate. This selection also depicts the parent-child dynamic as a black mother and child engage in a universal experience. The illustrations are beautiful and seem almost to spring from the page. The text is framed in comic strip style balloons, and it flows well. There are several pages without words, making this title a good tool for teaching sequencing and making predictions. This is an easy and fun read-aloud that serves to teach many lessons about paying attention and letting our imagination take us where it will.
VERDICT A timeless book with a contemporary feel that will satisfy readers and listeners. A solid purchase for most libraries.

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