cover image The Big Elephant in the Room

The Big Elephant in the Room

Lane Smith, . . Disney-Hyperion, $16.99 (32pp) ISBN 978-1-4231-1667-7

In this droll parade of embarrassments, a nerdy donkey in glasses and a bow tie asks his pal to discuss “the big elephant” in the room. “I was expecting this!” his buddy screeches defensively. But he isn't quite sure which humiliation to address, going into a litany of grade-school goofs that Smith (Madam President ) pictures in blush-inducing detail. “Is the big elephant your video game? I was going to return that! Eventually,” he says. “Is the big elephant that you laughed so hard you peed your pants? Is [it] that I told Haley you laughed so hard you peed your pants?” Smith times the gags to perfection, slowly at first and then several to a page: “the super glue 'accident' ” shows the unfortunate donkey stuck to a chair, and “the talent show mishap” pictures his clothes flying off his body during his friend's magic trick. Smith concludes with a smirk—a literal pachyderm is watching TV around the corner (“Oh, that big elephant! That's Stanley”). With these two donkeys, if the big elephant is in doubt, the identity of the big jackass is crystal clear. Ages 3–7. (July)