When an elephant arrives - unannounced and unexpected - in the village square, no-one knows what it is. But everyone is prepared to make a wild guess. One little boy called Eric eventually ensures that the identity of the elephant is deduced, and the poor thing given a name.
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British duo Bruce Robinson and Sophie Windham (writer-husband and illustrator-wife, respectively) team up here to poke and prod at an out-of-nowhere elephant, a poor old pachyderm who doesn't even know what he is.
But then again, neither does anyone else in the town: "One day the people awoke to find an Elephant sitting bewildered in the main square, mopping his brow with a red spotted handkerchief and wondering how he got there." But a boy named Eric, "who was seven and three-quarters and known for telling Tall Stories"--does know what this creature is, but no one seems to be listening. Everyone in town ends up guessing at the identity and function of this strange beast--the Train Driver connects him to a train, the Fireman uses him to fight a fire, the Garbage Collector sends him out to vacuum garbage until the Elephant nearly bursts. But in the end Eric prevails, with the help of the scatterbrained Professor. ("'But what does it do?' they asked. 'It does nothing!' cried Eric. 'It simply is an elephant.' 'Yes, of the long-nosed variety,' added the Professor.")
Kids will find Robinson's building, repetitive structure fun to follow, but it's the details from Windham (Unicorns! Unicorns!) that carry the day in this silly story. From the Professor's chalk scribblings to a dozen-odd throwaway animal cameos (like three cute bears climbing over the moon and a fire-watching pelican), every illustration deserves a long linger. (Ages 4 to 8) --Paul HughesAbout the Author:
Bruce Robinson is the author of THE PECULIAR MEMOIRS OF THOMAS PENMAN and wrote the screenplays for, amongst other films, The Killing Fields and Withnail and I. This is his first book for children. Sophie Windham has illustrated several highly successful picture books including UNICORNS, UNICORNS for Orchard. This is her first picture book for Bloomsbury. Sophie and Bruce are husband and wife and live together in Herefordshire.
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Book Description Bloomsbury, London, 2000. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. No Jacket. Windham, Sophie (illustrator). Bookseller Inventory # 5498