cover image What to Do if an Elephant Stands on Your Foot

What to Do if an Elephant Stands on Your Foot

Michelle Robinson, illus. by Peter H. Reynolds. Dial, $16.99 (32p) ISBN 978-0-8037-3398-5

Reading like an edgier version of If You Give a Mouse a Cookie, this faux guide to the jungle offers advice for Indiana Jones wannabes. The prim narrator directly addresses the hero, a boy dressed in safari gear. “In the event of startling an elephant, you will probably feel like running away, rather quickly. Try not to! Running may attract tigers.” British author Robinson has the boy failing, time and again, to take the narrator’s advice, resulting in a chain of disasters: sneezing to awaken a rhinoceros, climbing a tree full of snakes (“Now sit tight and try not to make any sudden movements. Like that one”), being surrounded by crocodiles, and finally resorting to screaming for help. A band of dopey-looking monkeys come to the boy’s rescue, though it isn’t long before he’s back in hot water. Reynolds’s digital illustrations are even more rambunctious and action-driven than his work in 2011’s Huck Runs Amuck! and he’s especially clever at playing the reactions of the hapless hero for laughs—and there are plenty of them. Ages 3–5. Agent: Celia Catchpole. Illustrator’s agent: Holly McGhee, Pippin Properties. (July)