cover image The Elephant's Wrestling Match

The Elephant's Wrestling Match

Judy Sierra. Dutton Books, $14 (32pp) ISBN 978-0-525-67366-8

When ``the mighty elephant'' challenges all animal comers to a wrestling match (`` `No one,' he roared, `can bring me down!' ''), monkey sends out the message on his talking drum. A she-leopard makes the first attempt, but she's felled with a gentle tap of the elephant's enormous foot. A crocodile fails next, belly-stroked to sleep by the elephant's trunk. Even the rhino, with a brave charge, manages only to bring elephant down on top of him. Finally, in a classic display of brains over brawn, a tiny bat takes on the challenge and wins. Sierra's staccato retelling of this lively African tale crackles with energy, a vitality neatly matched by Pinkney's ( Sukey and the Mermaid ; The Boy and the Ghost ) sweeping, dramatic scratchboard illustrations. A winning addition to the folktale shelf. Ages 5-8. ( Sept. )