Review Blog

Aug 12 2009

Elephant by Petr Horacek

cover image

Walker Books, 2009. ISBN 9781406311006.
(Ages 3-6) What is a lonely boy to do when his grandparents are too busy to play with him? His solution is to find an elephant for a best friend. The elephant is perfect for throwing a football with in the garden and for splashing in the bathtub. And he's also perfect to be used as a scapegoat when something goes wrong and the garden bed is trampled and there are puddles all over the floor.
This is a classic story line with a child using an imaginary friend to explain away any disasters that happen when rough games are being played. It works very well as a read aloud story, particularly as it has a satisfactory conclusion which children will find amusing.
Beautiful illustrations complement the text. The end papers show tiny pictures of the elephant from all angles on a vivid orange background. Horacek has distinguished the imaginary elephant by drawing it with dark grey pencil scribbles. The pictures of the little boy, his grandparents and the house and garden are in full bright colours. This is a useful technique and would help a very young child to work out what is real and what is imaginary.
Pat Pledger

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