The Sand Elephant

Floris. May 2020. 28p. Tr $17.95. ISBN 9781782506157.
PreS-Gr 2–In this sweet German import, a little boy discovers he is never alone when he uses his imagination. Sitting by himself in a sandbox, Paul draws a picture of a huge elephant and sighs, “I wish you were real and we could play together.” After curling up in the curve of the trunk for a nap, the child’s sand elephant comes to life and lifts him out of his despondency. The lyrical incantation of “Shell dust, coral dust, stardust, SAND!/Sand form, sandstorm, Sandcastle Land!” opens the door to a magical playground. Dufft’s inviting watercolor illustrations have a suitably tactile, grainy appearance, and wordless spreads show Paul enjoying sandcastle camaraderie with a group of children and their dragon, giraffe, and walrus creations. Surrounded by new friends, Paul feels like he’s “the king of the castle!” Even a knocked over tower, and sudden rain storm cannot dampen his spirits. Forgiving and malleable, “sand doesn’t mind about tumbles and collapses,” and is always a ready and waiting playmate.
VERDICT An uplifting story about resiliency and creativity.

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