Elephant's Story

Elephant's Story

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by Tracey Campbell Pearson
     
 

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The day Gracie loses her favorite book, Elephant finds it. He sniffs the words ONCE UPON A TIME THERE WAS and--oops--they go up his trunk, where they wiggle and jiggle and make him sneeze. The letters fly through the air helter skelter, and when Elephant tries to put them back together, he can't figure out how to make the right words that fit. He asks his friends

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Overview

The day Gracie loses her favorite book, Elephant finds it. He sniffs the words ONCE UPON A TIME THERE WAS and--oops--they go up his trunk, where they wiggle and jiggle and make him sneeze. The letters fly through the air helter skelter, and when Elephant tries to put them back together, he can't figure out how to make the right words that fit. He asks his friends for help, but they just choose some of the letters to make up their own words--Alligator wants to CHEW them, Seal SPINs them, Monkeys THROW them, and Bear just SNOREs. Lucky for elephant, Gracie comes looking for her book. She makes the letters into the right words and then adds some of her own: a girl went to the zoo and made a new friend.

Editorial Reviews

The New York Times Book Review - Sarah Harrison Smith
Like all the best books, this one can be read on several levels, and kids ready for simple deciphering will enjoy Pearson's anagrams.
From the Publisher

“A sweet, funny story--though not without its awkward moments--with a metafictive theme that should entertain.” —Kirkus Reviews

“Pearson's humorous illustrations are drawn with a loose flowing line. An overlay of light watercolors brings to life Elephant's expressive face. Endpapers show him making the letters of the alphabet with this body. A lighthearted picture book for storytimes about friendship, cooperation, or books.” —School Library Journal

“A good choice for the smallest book lovers.” —Booklist

School Library Journal
09/01/2013
PreS-Gr 1—Elephant is worried. It shows in his eyes. He has accidentally sucked up all the words in Gracie's favorite book. When he presents the blank-paged book to his friends, they don't know what to do. Instead of making words, Seal spins the letters around his nose, Monkey throws them around, and Alligator eats them. There are some tense moments when Gracie sees Elephant sitting on her lost book, so she pulls on his trunk and tickles it, and a big sneeze produces all the missing words. Pearson's humorous illustrations are drawn with a loose flowing line. An overlay of light watercolors brings to life Elephant's expressive face. Endpapers show him making the letters of the alphabet with this body. A lighthearted picture book for storytimes about friendship, cooperation, or books.—Tanya Boudreau, Cold Lake Public Library, AB, Canada
Kirkus Reviews
2013-09-01
In this offbeat tale, friendship forms as the result of a lovable, bumbling elephant's mistake. When Elephant comes across a lost book, he accidentally inhales its words. The words are soon sneezed out, but the letters are in chaos. Not knowing how to fix them, Elephant takes the letters to his friends, who, much to Elephant's distress, are not very interested in restoring them to the book. Clever design shows Alligator about to "chew" the letters, while Seal just wants to "spin" them. The use of a limited palette and lots of undecorated white space makes the close communication of jungle, savannah, forest and marine animals seem more plausible than it would otherwise. Finding no real help, he just sniffs the letters back up into his trunk. When Gracie--the book's owner--finds Elephant sitting on her beloved book, strangely, she chooses to pull on his trunk (an action that seems rather cruel). Only after that doesn't work does she tickle him, which elicits a sneeze that releases the letters. Gracie then uses the letters to create a new story about friendship. The adorable endpapers are particularly noteworthy, featuring Elephant posing as the 26 letters in the English alphabet, echoing the main theme of the book. A sweet, funny story--though not without its awkward moments--with a metafictive theme that should entertain. (Picture book. 3-6)

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781466851535
Publisher:
Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Publication date:
10/22/2013
Sold by:
Macmillan
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
40
File size:
7 MB
Age Range:
4 - 8 Years

Meet the Author

Tracey Campbell Pearson is the author and illustrator of many children's books, including Bob, which Booklist called "a visual treat," and a series of board books including Diddle, Diddle, Dumpling, a Parenting Magazine Best Book of the Year. She lives in Jericho Center, Vermont.


When I was very small, I didn't have a special blanket or a beloved stuffed animal that was my constant companion. I had a little book that I carried with me everywhere. The Art of El Greco may seem an odd choice for a toddler, but I really loved the painting of the Cardinal in red. I thought he was Santa. I still carry a little book with me everywhere, but now it is a sketchbook that I fill with my own drawings.

I was born in 1956 and grew up in Connecticut. As the youngest child, I was always trying to catch up to my older brothers and sister. It didn't work, so I spent a lot of time creating my own world in my imagination and in my drawings. My favorite place to be was in the woods, following stone walls to secret places.

After high school, I wanted to go to Paris. I ended up at Syracuse University, then at Parsons School of Design in New York City. While studying fashion illustration at Parsons, I discovered a class in children's book illustration. In the very first class I knew I had found what I wanted to do. I decided to change my career plans while riding the elevator with my teacher. He got off the elevator and went home; I went back up and changed my major. Next, I went to the local bookstore to look for books by the instructor. I found several, including Where the Wild Things Are. My class was taught
by Maurice Sendak.

Twenty-five years and as many books later, it is my love of the process that keeps me creating picture books. In all of my books, rhythm and movement are important. The text and illustrations should dance together. My goal is to create a book that a child will want to read again and again, finding something new in the illustrations each time she looks at them.

Every book gives me the opportunity to grow as an illustrator and author. Each story asks to be a different book. Where Does Joe Go? wanted to be horizontal with double-page spreads and color going to the edges of the paper. I worked in pen and ink and watercolor. Bob, however, needed to be a book that was big, bold, and square. I wanted the child in the back of a crowd to be able to see Bob and meow, moo, ribbet, and hop. I still used watercolor for the illustrations, but with pencil instead of ink. Myrtle is on my drawing board right now. She is as quiet as Bob is bold.

Tracey Campbell Pearson has been living in Vermont with her family for twenty years. She still spends a lot of time creating her own world in her head and in her books. She shares that world with her husband, two children, a dog, and a cat. They all love walking in the woods. Except the cat: he prefers the meadow.

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Elephant's Story 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A good story for the very young, ages 1-5. Has the theme of favorite books, letters are involve, good for expanding little ones vocabulary and language. A variety of animals are involved, young children love animals. A simple story, especially good for bedtime story that doesn't go on for a long time, short, simple and readable in a few minutes. Illustrations are excellent. A great Vermont author and illustrator!