cover image Engelbert the Elephant

Engelbert the Elephant

Tom Paxton. HarperCollins Publishers, $14.95 (32pp) ISBN 978-0-688-08935-1

In what has to be the social upset of the season, an unsuspecting elephant receives a surprise invitation to the royal ball (thanks to a pair of prankster mice). Engelbert's arrival startles the stuffy courtiers, who nearly cause a stampede in their panic. But the queen is charmed by the pachyderm's courteous bow, and quickly puts a halt to the mad exit. Wearing one sneaker and one rollerskate, Engelbert turns out to be a veritable Fred Astaire, and is even chosen to squire the queen for the final dance. In the end, the party adjourns to the jungle, where the revelers dance until dawn. Popular folksinger Paxton has pulled out all the stops in this rollicking ballad, with its gentle reminder not to judge a book by its cover. Kellogg's characteristically droll touches depict Engelbert as a hero of magnanimous proportions--and one worth cheering for as well. Aspiring musicians may be disappointed to note that the music isn't included, so they could learn the tune and sing along. All ages. (Sept.)