cover image A Parade of Elephants

A Parade of Elephants

Kevin Henkes. Greenwillow, $18.99 (40p) ISBN 978-0-06-266827-1

“Look! Elephants!” Henkes announces. And here they come, five in all: blue, yellow, purple, green, with a little pink one bringing up the rear. These elephants aren’t up to any hijinks or even peanut-eating—they do one thing: march. For much of the book, Henkes arranges the elephants’ simple shapes (they have few details beyond expressive eyes and a dash of texturing) into lines of action that demonstrate concepts, from counting to spatial ideas (up, down, in, out) and wordplay: “Big and round and round they are. Big and round and round they go.” The characters may be single-minded, but there’s a sense of energy on every page, leading up to the final spreads, which show the elephants “scattering stars across the sky” via collective bedtime trumpet. With clear, bold type sized for puzzling out letters, this spare offering will appeal to preschoolers who, like the elephants, are settling down into starry sleep. Ages 4–8. [em](Sept.) [/em]