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Cora and the Elephants

Cora and the Elephants

by Lissa Rovetch

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
After telling their adopted daughter Cora how they found her in her infancy, washed ashore, Edward and Ophelia-who, unlike Cora, are elephants-promise to pursue their sole clue to her origins: a life-preserver tag labeled "Pier 38, San Francisco." Cora becomes obsessed with discovering where she came from. But after a hard-earned trip from their African watering hole to San Francisco, girl and elephants learn that ``Pier 38'' is a life-preserver factory. Rovetch (Trigwater Did It) says merely that Cora is "sad and disappointed" before launching into her heroine's pleasure in a protracted stay with the factory owner and his wife. The point of this scattershot story is unclear: why raise the question of Cora's parentage only to drop it? In what seems an effort to allay the anxieties raised by the plot, the illustrations are uniformly sunny and bright, and Edward and Ophelia, rotund, cuddly and thoroughly anthropomorphized, bear more than a passing resemblance to Babar and his friends. Ages 3-8. (Apr.)
Children's Literature - Barbara Disckind
Cora, who was very happy---almost---lived among her elephant family in Africa. She loved swimming in the watering hole and reading and climbing trees and drawing and running barefoot in the sand. But she became distracted and sad. Where did I come from, and how did I get my elephant parents, she wondered. To help her smile again and to find her original home, she and her elephant parents go to San Francisco. All sorts of lively experiences await them in this human town. A lovely story with a heart-warming conclusion. The humorous and delightful illustrations are reminiscent of Babar.
School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 2-Cora leads an idyllic life in Africa until she raises an important question: Why has she been raised by a pair of elephants? Her adoptive parents, Edward and Ophelia, explain how she had been washed ashore with no identification but a life-preserver tag. Determined to find her origins, the little girl devises a scheme to raise money for the three to fly to San Francisco. There they meet disappointment when the tag leads only to a warehouse. The factory owner invites them for an extended stay, but Africa's call proves strong, and they return home wiser and more content. The charming watercolor cartoon illustrations meld with the text to make the fantastic series of events plausible. Indeed, few elephants since Babar have adapted so readily to city life. Together words and illustrations stretch the imaginations of all who have wondered about their origins. Cora, Ophelia, and Edward are characters worth meeting.-Kathy Piehl, Mankato State University, MN

Product Details

Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date:
Product dimensions:
7.16(w) x 8.89(h) x 0.11(d)
Age Range:
3 - 8 Years

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