Little Elephants

Graeme Base, Author
Graeme Base. Abrams, $16.95 (40p) ISBN 978-1-4197-0463-5
Reviewed on: 08/13/2012
Release date: 09/01/2012
Show other formats
FORMATS
Base (Animalia) sets this magical tale in a threatened farm belt, alluding to the American Dust Bowl era and The Wizard of Oz. Jim, an earnest boy in blue overalls, lives with his anxious mother “on a wheat farm, and the risk of plague was never far away.” Fearing that pests will spoil the crop, Jim sadly frees his pet mouse. Later, though, a top-hatted traveler promises Jim “good fortune” and leaves behind a red megaphone; when Jim blows into this horn, he hears “a faraway trumpeting sound.... A shimmering cloud of gray dust wafted away on the breeze.” That night, Jim’s mouse returns, along with happy herd of rabbit-size elephants. Together, the animals bravely battle locusts to save the harvest. Base scatters visual hints throughout the narrative: model biplanes and a photo of a uniformed man suggest Jim’s absent father, and elephant and circus images hint at the origins of the mini-pachyderms. Base’s portraits of human beings can be awkward, but his tiny elephants—who run amok like the bullfrogs in David Wiesner’s Tuesday—are captivating. Ages 4–8. (Sept.)
The Best Books, Emailed Every Week
Tip Sheet!
MORE BOOKS YOU'D LIKE
X