Eve and Elly by Mike Dumbleton
Ill. by Laura Wood. Random House, 2016. ISBN 9780857988515
(Age: 3+) Recommended. Loss. Toys. Family. Eve simply loves her pet stuffed elephant, Elly. She takes him with her wherever she goes, clutching him tightly under her arm. When they go on holiday, Elly goes too, and sits on the beach with Eve as she builds a sandcastle. On their return, Eve feels ill and Mum cuddles her until she falls asleep, but the worst thing has happened, Elly has fallen from the car unnoticed.
At home Eve searches everywhere for her elephant, all through the house and car and in the garden. She is inconsolable and rejects every other toy offered by her caring parents. But Dad has an idea and shortly after a parcel arrives in the post. Eve is thrilled but a little taken aback at the size of Elly until Dad explains Elly's amazing journey to return home.
This is a wonderful story to read aloud, brimming with the love that surrounds the child and her love for her toy. The loss of the toy will be recognised by all readers and they will be on edge as the tale unfolds, bringing the child and her toy back together with a very cute twist. The story Dad tells is full of humour and adventure as the elephant finds his way back home.
The illustrations reflect the loving family and the place held by the toy elephant. I love the parcel cover, and the cheeky look on Elly's face throughout the book. This book will have instant appeal to younger children, and initiate discussions about the place their toys hold in the family and what they do when something is lost. Fran Knight