Lani finds an elephant stuck on his roof, but at first none of the villagers will help him. When they do, they learn the value of helping others.
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Lani has a problem. There's an elephant on his roof. Deciding that catching the elephant is not the perfect solution to the problem of getting the elephant down, Lani seeks the help of his fellow villagers. Reluctant to help and opposed to having an elephant messing up the village, the villagers finally acquiesce and agree to help. Using a boat and some rope the elephant is hauled down to safety and then proves that it really is a good thing to help an elephant. Lani and the elephant devise clever ways, which only an elephant can manage to help each of the skeptical villagers in turn. The villager's respond by throwing a surprise party to celebrate their newfound friend, the elephant. Erin Harris's watercolor illustrations are the heart of this picture book. You can tell the story, as I've just briefly done, but you haven t really read the story until you've read the illustrations. Harris has created a folk tale quality to this larger twist on Aesop's The Lion and the Mouse. --ChildrensPictureBook.info Review (Feb. 2007)
Imagine finding an elephant on the roof of your home. Lani did! He tries to devise a plan to get the elephant down by enlisting the help of the villagers. The people refuse to give assistance because of the possible problems they foresee involving an elephant in their community. Through Lani s persistence, the people of the village grudgingly agree to assist and collect the supplies that are needed to bring the elephant down to the ground from the roof. With some muscle and ingenuity, as seen in Erin Harris illustration, the elephant is brought down safely. The following day, Lani and his elephant go to thank the villagers for their help. The people now have their own set of problems. In a twist of fate, Lani and the elephant are able to assist the villagers in resolving their difficulties. At the end of the story, even Lani explores seeing things from a different perspective. The illustrations have a gentle tone of colors with softly drawn lines that reflect the heartfelt kindness revealed in the story. --Children's Literature
PreSchool-Grade 1—Lani turns to the people in his village to help get an elephant off his roof after he realizes that he cannot do it alone. At first everyone refuses, but the youngster convinces them to lend a hand. Once down, he and the elephant reciprocate by assisting the fisherman, some children, and an old woman with their problems. The villagers then throw a surprise party for their new friend to say thanks. Coming full circle, the narrative ends with Lani and the elephant back on the roof. The story has the look and feel of a folktale, and the softly colored watercolors suggest an Asian setting. Harris offers a positive message concerning helping one another, but Heather Forest's The Little Red Hen (August House) and Jerry Pinkney's The Little Red Hen (Dial, both 2006) are better choices for reading aloud. An additional purchase for larger collections.—Marilyn Ackerman, Brooklyn Public Library, NY
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