cover image That’s Not Normal!

That’s Not Normal!

Mar Pavón, trans. from the Spanish by Martin Hyams, illus. by Laure du Faÿ. NubeOcho, $16.99 (40p) ISBN 978-84-18133-23-7

“Elephant had a very, very long trunk... Incredibly long!” writes Spanish author Pavón, and this is not hyperbole: du Faÿ (Where Are You, Little Pig?) draws the bright blue pachyderm’s trunk snaking down to Elephant’s feet and trailing at least an entire body length behind him. Elephant uses his distinctive feature for good, lending it to Zebra as a clothesline to dry freshly washed stripes, turning it into a skinny hammock for rocking little Antelope to sleep, and wrapping it around Giraffe’s neck like a scarf when it’s chilly. Hippo, however, is not a fan: “That’s not normal!” he shouts whenever he sees one of Elephant’s acts of kindness. He changes his tune, though, when Elephant’s nose proves essential to rescuing Baby Hippo from a lake filled with hungry crocodiles. The idea that folks with differences must somehow prove themselves useful to win over meanies is more than a little dated, but du Faÿ’s pictures are standouts: flat, bright colors; simple shapes; and straight-on compositions bring to mind a mid-century modern nursery mural, and the vignettes brim with sweet-natured visual comedy. Ages 3–7. (Nov.)