Free to Be Elephant Me

Giles Andreae, illus. by Guy Parker-Rees. Orchard, $18.99 (32p) ISBN 978-1-338-73427-0
Originally published in the U.K., this picture book by the creators of Giraffes Can’t Dance follows young Num-Num the elephant, who doesn’t have a talent to impress Elephant Mighty, the pachyderms’ throned ruler. Without a skill, Num-Num can’t earn a special Elephant Name, but after setting off to a different water hole, he meets a variety of animals, eventually resulting in a triumphant realization: “ ‘I’ll tell you my Elephant Name,’ Num-Num said,/ ‘I want to be/ ELEPHANT/ ME.’ ” Andreae relays the story in bouncy quatrains: “And each time an elephant managed to prove/ A talent or skill to the king,/ The monarch would give them an ELEPHANT NAME.../ An honor they all longed to win.” Parker-Rees contributes affable, dynamic art in a light-colored palette. While those familiar with the genre won’t find anything particularly innovative, this is a clear, uncomplicated morale booster. Ages 4–8. (June)
Reviewed on : 08/04/2021
Release date: 06/01/2021
Genre: Children's
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