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Saturday, April 16, 2011

Mr. Elephanter, written and illustrated by Lark Pien. Candlewick, Random House. 2010. $18.00 ages 3 and up

"From the pool, they parade together through the busy, bustling city. Mr. Elephanter watches for traffic, the shop owners wave, and the elephanties tootle at the cars zooming by."

OOOOH, these baby elephanties are so little! No matter...size doesn't mean anything when it comes to caring about others. Mr. Elephanter proves that daily, from his early in the morning smile to his quiet hug as he leaves them. Upon arrival, he is greeted by his charges with great glee. Once breakfast is served and eaten, they are off on an adventure-filled day. First, a swim in the neighborhood pool, and then they are off for a walkabout. Everyone is happy to see them.

On a scheduled trip to the zoo, they meet an old friend. This grown elephant is one of Mr. Elephanter's 'kids'. Upon listening in on the conversation readers will acknowledge that much care and concern is shared between the two, even years later. Upon their return to the Elephantery the young ones are ready for a nap, and their caregiver is able to catch up on the many small jobs that need doing. (We've all been there!) All is not perfect; what is? Little accidents are tended to, and everyone settles in for some games, a dance or two. As the day comes to an end, serenity ensues. Mr. Elephanter takes his leave with a promise to return tomorrow.

Ah, their life is simple and loving, taking us back to a time in the past when life was not so frenzied and frantic. The artwork matches the tone of this lovely story perfectly. There is much to see, and marvel over as you share this book with little ones. Each page is filled with charm and lovely pastel watercolors. Be sure to look carefully at the endpapers as they have another part of the story to tell!

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