ON ELIZA PRATTLEBOTTOM’S eighth birthday, she wishes for an elephant to take her away from her boring life. Two days and six hours later, an elephant in a black floppy hat comes trumpeting down Bunthmather Street, lifts Eliza onto his back, and carries her to a magical jungle. Though her parents dream of her walking with a family of elephants, they don’t know where she’s gone. It is only Adelle, a 97-year-old woman with perfect posture, who is able to convince Eliza of the importance of returning home, and of enjoying her childhood while it lasts.
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Lou Berger has been the head writer at Sesame Street for nine years. He helped launch Reading Rainbow in the 1980s, and co-wrote the prime-time special, The Street We Live On, which was nominated for an Emmy. This is his first children’s book. He lives in Forest Hills Gardens, New York.
Most recently, Ana Juan is the illustrator of The Jewel Box Ballerinas, about which Kirkus Reviews wrote, “Juan’s artwork is glorious.” She is also the recipient of the Jack Keats New Illustrator Award, and her paintings have appeared on the cover of The New Yorker. She lives in Madrid, Spain.
Kindergarten-Grade 3—Eliza Prattlebottom's mother (an opera singer) and father (a board member) have little time to spend with her. "Oh, I wish that an elephant would come and take me away!" Eliza thinks as she blows out all eight candles on her birthday cake. Her wish brings Cousin Floyd, an elephant who whisks her to the jungle on his back at "four times the speed of wind." Only Eliza's neighbor, 97-year-old Adelle, out pulling her elderly dog, Potato, in his wagon, sees Floyd. Recalling her own delightful childhood adventure with the elephants, she finds her way back to the jungle by following her memories. Then, reverting to a younger version of herself, she talks Eliza into going home to "friends you haven't met and a life that you must not wish away." Juan's brightly colored acrylic and crayon illustrations with their red-orange and strawberry pink backgrounds are as eccentric as the story itself: a monocle-wearing bulldog; wispy dream characters from the past floating like cloud shapes in a pink sky; pop-eyed bugs amid oversize mushrooms; and flowers in a tendril-filled forest. The story's weakness lies in its conclusion. One might wonder why an eight-year-old in the midst of an exciting dream fantasy would heed another child's instructions to give it up and go home. Perhaps the whole adventure is only a dream, after all? Berger leaves it to readers to decide.—Susan Scheps, Shaker Heights Public Library, OH
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Book Description Schwartz & Wade, 2008. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. Ana Juan (illustrator). book. Bookseller Inventory # M0375839623
Book Description Schwartz & Wade, 2008. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. Bookseller Inventory # DADAX0375839623
Book Description Schwartz & Wade, 2008. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. Never used!. Bookseller Inventory # P110375839623
Book Description Schwartz & Wade. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. 0375839623 New Condition. Bookseller Inventory # NEW7.1053270