Strictly No Elephants

Lisa Mantchev, illus. by Taeeun Yoo. S&S/Wiseman, $17.99 (32p) ISBN 978-1-4814-1647-4
Having a tiny elephant for a pet sounds idyllic, but a boy discovers that the local Pet Club doesn’t allow them; a stern girl points at a “Strictly No Elephants” sign. Heading home in the rain, the boy and his elephant spot a girl with her skunk. “They don’t want us to play with them either,” she says. Joined by other owners of unexpected pets—giraffes, armadillos, even a small narwhal in a bowl—they make their own club with its own sign: “All Are Welcome.” In her first picture book, Mantchev (Ticker) examines true friendship, sprinkling observations about the behavior of boy and elephant throughout (“He doesn’t like the cracks in the sidewalk much. I always go back and help him over”) and punctuating them with the refrain, “Because that’s what friends do.” Yoo’s (Hands Say Love) linoleum block prints of brick buildings and quiet sidewalks have the softness and warmth of a favorite blanket. It’s a message book about exclusion with an oh-so-gentle lead-in for discussion. Ages 4–8. Author’s agent: Laura Rennert, Andrea Brown Literary Agency. Illustrator’s agent: Holly McGhee, Pippin Properties. (Oct.)
Reviewed on: 07/20/2015
Release date: 10/27/2015
Genre: Children's
Hardcover - 36 pages - 978-957-14-6167-0
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