Secret Eleph of H Kooter CL

Dean Harvey, Author, Mark Richardson, Illustrator Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (HMH) $13.95 (130p) ISBN 978-0-395-62523-1
Meet Harlan Kooter--a kind, plucky lad with ``the reddest hair anyone had ever seen'' who is mercilessly teased by his classmates for being poor and small. When the circus comes to town, Harlan discovers a runaway animal in his garage: ``a medium-sized elephant, which is to say it was about the size of a delivery van.'' Hannibal, a perceptive pachyderm with the gift of gab, turns out to be just the kind of chum Harlan needs; the two form a risky and protective partnership. When a fierce hurricane hits their small town, Harlan and Hannibal's remarkable strength and friendship helps them save residents' lives, and earns each of them a richly deserved understanding and freedom. In his deftly written first novel, Harvey seamlessly blends passages of chuckle-producing humor with gently affecting moments--the whole overlaid with an ingenuous, old-fashioned charm. Richardson's black-and-white pencil sketches, droll and delicate, perfectly complement the book's slightly fey tone. Harlan and Hannibal are an endearing pair whose happy ending is cause for cheering. Ages 7-10. (Oct.)
Reviewed on: 03/01/1999
Release date: 03/01/1999
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