The Elephant Wish

Overview

ON ELIZA PRATTLEBOTTOM’S eighth birthday, she wishes for an elephant to take her away from her boring life. Two days and six hours later, an elephant in a black floppy hat comes trumpeting down Bunthmather Street, lifts Eliza onto his back, and carries her to a magical jungle. Though her parents dream of her walking with a family of elephants, they don’t know where she’s gone. It is only Adelle, a 97-year-old woman with perfect posture, who is able to convince Eliza of the importance of returning home, and of ...
See more details below
This Hardcover is Not Available through BN.com
Note: This is a bargain book and quantities are limited. Bargain books are new but may have slight markings from the publisher and/or stickers showing their discounted price. More about bargain books
Sending request ...

Overview

ON ELIZA PRATTLEBOTTOM’S eighth birthday, she wishes for an elephant to take her away from her boring life. Two days and six hours later, an elephant in a black floppy hat comes trumpeting down Bunthmather Street, lifts Eliza onto his back, and carries her to a magical jungle. Though her parents dream of her walking with a family of elephants, they don’t know where she’s gone. It is only Adelle, a 97-year-old woman with perfect posture, who is able to convince Eliza of the importance of returning home, and of enjoying her childhood while it lasts.
Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly

Berger, the head writer for Sesame Street, offers a lush, poetic story that begins whimsically but has a denser, eerier mood. On her eighth birthday, Eliza Prattlebottom hopes, "Oh, I wish that an elephant would come and take me away!" An elephant in a floppy black hat arrives at the door and whisks her away at "four times the speed of wind" to a "jungly" place "full of creatures." The plot is complicated, involving Eliza's distracted parents (her father is a businessman and her mother an opera singer) and Adelle, a nonagenarian who nurses her own fond memories of Cousin Floyd (the elephant). Juan's (The Jewel-Box Ballerinas) mixed-media pictures offer a similarly surreal complexity and depth. Vines swirl, dragonflies dart, and the line between reality and the imagination blurs, creating just the kind of dreamscape a child's wish might conjure up. From Mr. Prattlebottom's glass eye to Adelle's 200-year-old bulldog, Potato, the details are strange and wonderful, and there is a sophistication in the story, including references to Verdi and a dull boardroom (aka "the long table"), that will entertain adults as well as children. Ages 4-8. (Sept.)

Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Children's Literature - Ken Marantz and Sylvia Marantz
On her eighth birthday, Eliza's wish is for an elephant to come and take her away from her preoccupied parents. In this magical tale, Cousin Floyd, a large elephant in a floppy hat arrives. He lifts Eliza onto his back and whisks her away. Her parents miss Eliza, seeing her atop an elephant in their dreams. Meanwhile, her ninety-seven-year-old neighbor Adelle, who saw Eliza ride away, recalls herself as a little girl named Addie. She had wished for an elephant then, and she had ridden away on one "across sidewalks and stars." Adelle decides she needs to be with that elephant again. Pulling her wagon with her 200-year-old dog and "moving with the speed of memory," she finds Eliza and the elephants. How she persuades Eliza to go home leads to a mystical happy ending. Juan creates a believable dream world, sometimes scarlet with sinuous black plants and sometimes pink with ghost-like slithering shapes. The image of an elephant takes shape from the flowing white steam of Adelle's teacup. Acrylic paints and crayons partner in this entrancing enterprise, uniting creatively to produce a sort of wonderland in visual poetry. Don't bypass the endpapers. Reviewer: Ken Marantz and Sylvia Marantz
School Library Journal

K-Gr 3

Eliza Prattlebottom's mother (an opera singer) and father (a board member) have little time to spend with her. "Oh, I wish that an elephant would come and take me away!" Eliza thinks as she blows out all eight candles on her birthday cake. Her wish brings Cousin Floyd, an elephant who whisks her to the jungle on his back at "four times the speed of wind." Only Eliza's neighbor, 97-year-old Adelle, out pulling her elderly dog, Potato, in his wagon, sees Floyd. Recalling her own delightful childhood adventure with the elephants, she finds her way back to the jungle by following her memories. Then, reverting to a younger version of herself, she talks Eliza into going home to "friends you haven't met and a life that you must not wish away." Juan's brightly colored acrylic and crayon illustrations with their red-orange and strawberry pink backgrounds are as eccentric as the story itself: a monocle-wearing bulldog; wispy dream characters from the past floating like cloud shapes in a pink sky; pop-eyed bugs amid oversize mushrooms; and flowers in a tendril-filled forest. The story's weakness lies in its conclusion. One might wonder why an eight-year-old in the midst of an exciting dream fantasy would heed another child's instructions to give it up and go home. Perhaps the whole adventure is only a dream, after all? Berger leaves it to readers to decide.-Susan Scheps, Shaker Heights Public Library, OH

Kirkus Reviews
A young girl's extraordinary wish comes true until an old lady moves in to take her place. On her eighth birthday, Eliza Prattlebottom wishes an elephant would come and take her away from her busy parents. "Two days, six hours, thirty-seven minutes, and nine seconds" later an elephant named Cousin Floyd materializes, lifts Eliza onto his back and takes off at "four times the speed of wind." No one notices the elephant except 97-year-old Adelle, who remembers her own wish for an elephant when she was a girl and decides it's time to rejoin Cousin Floyd. Memory carries Adelle back where the world looks "jungly" and there she finds Cousin Floyd with Eliza. But only one wisher can stay with the elephant, so either Adelle or Eliza must go home. Juan's bold, fanciful acrylic-and-crayon illustrations create colorful, dreamlike scenes that prove the perfect accompaniment to the candid, imaginative text-a wedding of magical realism in word and image. A stunning lesson in the power of wishes and memory pitting the child Eliza against the childlike Adelle. (Picture book. 4-8)
From the Publisher
Starred Review, Kirkus Reviews, August 1, 2008:
"A stunning lesson in the power of wishes and memory."
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781616802455
  • Publisher: Random House Children's Books
  • Publication date: 2/10/2010
  • Pages: 48
  • Age range: 4 - 8 Years
  • Product dimensions: 11.10 (w) x 11.10 (h) x 0.50 (d)

Meet the Author

Lou Berger has been the head writer at Sesame Street for nine years. He helped launch Reading Rainbow in the 1980s, and co-wrote the prime-time special, The Street We Live On, which was nominated for an Emmy. This is his first children’s book. He lives in Forest Hills Gardens, New York.

Most recently, Ana Juan is the illustrator of The Jewel Box Ballerinas, about which Kirkus Reviews wrote, “Juan’s artwork is glorious.” She is also the recipient of the Jack Keats New Illustrator Award, and her paintings have appeared on the cover of The New Yorker. She lives in Madrid, Spain.

Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Be the first to write a review
( 0 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(0)

4 Star

(0)

3 Star

(0)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(0)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously

    If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
    Why is this product inappropriate?
    Comments (optional)