When Your Elephant Comes To Play

illus. by Ale Barba. 32p. Philomel. Apr. 2016. Tr $16.99. ISBN 9780399163128.
PreS-Gr 1—Friendship, tolerance, and diversity are at the heart of this lively picture book. On Wednesdays, a boy's friend Prudence, an elephant, comes to play. Readers see how certain situations are difficult to maneuver with an elephant in the house, including jumping on one's bed or eating warm chocolate cake. However, the child revels in the companionship and shows that elephants do give wonderful hugs. The last page of the story gives a preview of another friend, who is coming to play on Thursday. On a deeper level, this book shows that it is sometimes necessary to be patient with friends, no matter their differences or how hard it can be to accommodate special needs. The main theme is that love and friendship are ultimately the most important things. The text is rich with new words for building vocabulary, and the illustrations are simple, if a bit abstract. They are still fun and help to move the story.
VERDICT A tender addition about differences and friendship that young children should enjoy.

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