Review Blog

Dec 18 2019

If you meet an elephant by Debbie Smith

cover image

Illus. by Emma Middleton. Little Steps Publishing, 2019. ISBN: 9781925839104.
(Age: 3-6) Rhyming Book, Elephants, Friendship. This story explores in picture and rhyme what it would be like to make friends with an elephant. 'There are things you must know when you're out and about, if you meet a large elephant there. It may help you to know of some traits they might show . . . ' The text has mostly good moments (With their big booty bottoms and flip- flappy ears, there'll be CHAOS and MAYHEM in store') but is a little too nonsensical in parts ('You had better take care if an elephant's near . . .  especially when hosting high tea. Because ALL children know it's the start of the show when the elephants come to . . .  eat free!')
Emma Middleton's illustrations are whimsical and playful, featuring a cute, smiling elephant and a bike-riding mouse and do a fair job of portraying the immense size difference between the two main characters. It seems a shame though, that the bright colours featured on the cover give way to mainly muted dull tones as this may have helped give the story some extra vibrancy. The story finishes with 'But wait! Can you imagine how cool it would be . . . if an elephant made friends with you? The intended message is that even though being friends with someone different to you can put you into uncomfortable situations it would also be rather exciting, but this message does seem a little lost.
Nicole Nelson

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