Wednesday, November 18, 2009
What Elephant? Written and illustrated by Geneviè̀ve Côté. Kids Can Press, 2008. $7.95 ages 5 and up
"His best friend, Pip, shook his head. 'Elephants don't watch TV, and they certainly don't eat chocolate chip cookies. You were probably out in the sun too long. Why don't you go home and get some sleep?' 'Maybe Pip is right,' George said to himself as he slowly walked away."
Sometimes you just can’t believe your eyes! Such is the case in this inventive and imaginative tale of a lost elephant that finds itself taking up residence in George’s house. No one believes it is possible and George begins to doubt himself. But surely that elephant that sleeps in his bed, blows its nose on all of his sheets, overflows the shower and eats all his favorite foods is real! George doesn’t want people to question his integrity so he refuses to admit that he is still seeing the vast visitor. Now, Pip and Maggie can see him but George refuses to acknowledge its presence. When the circus man arrives to claim his beautiful Shiraz, the apologies are freely offered. No one will doubt George again! But…can that be a pink poodle coming through the door? What poodle?
The old adage 'there's an elephant in the room' is discussion worthy following reading this book with older students. It is a real connection to a saying that they may have heard at some time. Be sure to pair it with The Big Elephant in the Room, by Lane Smith (Hyperion, 2009).