How Much Does the Gray in an Elephant Weigh?


When you visit at the zoo,
Do you wonder like I do . . .

Why does a giraffe have spots of  brown,
And do zebra’s stripes go up, or down?
 The wonder and variety of various zoo animals is explored in this book as full of questions as Kipling's Elephant's Child. From an elephant to a peacock, a rhinoceros to a flamingo, an ...

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When you visit at the zoo,
Do you wonder like I do . . .

Why does a giraffe have spots of  brown,
And do zebra’s stripes go up, or down?
 The wonder and variety of various zoo animals is explored in this book as full of questions as Kipling's Elephant's Child. From an elephant to a peacock, a rhinoceros to a flamingo, an inquisitive child and his grandfather visit and ponder each animal.   

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Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Ken Marantz and Sylvia Marantz
During a visit to the zoo with his grandfather, a young boy speculates in rhymed couplets on a variety of provocative questions. “Why does giraffe have spots of brown,/And do zebra’s stripes go up, or down?” He wonders about the peacock, the snake, the rhino’s nose, polar bears, a flamingo’s neck, a crocodile’s teeth, the kangaroo, the lion’s mane, and the question in the title: “How much does the gray in an elephant weigh?” As they leave the zoo, Grandpa poses one more question for the boy to ponder. The animals named are painted relatively naturalistically and large on double pages. The settings are rendered in outline behind added characters; they appear as if on a stage framed on one or more sides with items related to the theme in question. For example, the polar bear is pigging out on a variety of frozen treats while in the background other bears of varying sizes eat ice cream under shaded tables. Cats and pigeons try to get involved as well, while pictures of ice cream goodies are in the bottom frame. Sketches of the many items inside fill the end pages. Reviewer: Ken Marantz and Sylvia Marantz AGERANGE: Ages 4 to 7.
School Library Journal
K-Gr 2—Although the fanciful illustrations are captivating, the rhythm of the text in this translation is awkward and sometimes confusing. A young boy and his grandfather visit the zoo, and the child asks a series of questions, some interesting, some puzzling, including, "Why does giraffe have spots of brown,/And do zebra's stripes go up, or down?" and "And do you think the rhino sees/His horn is where his nose should be?" Still, children will most likely enjoy the adorable, colorful artwork; unfortunately the giraffe's spots are red, not brown, and some of the questions are silly (with a typo): "And do flamingo's necks get tangled,/When they dance the wild fandango?" Most collections can pass on this one.—Jasmine L. Precopio, Fox Chapel Area School District, Pittsburgh, PA
Kirkus Reviews
A visit to an unusual zoo sparks the imagination of an inquisitive little brown-skinned boy out with his white grandfather. Boldly colored animals (and people) stand out in Hoogstad's layered illustrations, which carry much of the book's meaning. Each two-page spread (there are 12 in all) is quite busy, with fine, colored lines delineating environments on a predominantly white background. The boy and his grandfather walk through the gates of the zoo, and an array of colorful animals is there to greet them. The little boy wonders about animal spots and stripes; the background changes to place him and grandpa in an artist's studio, where painters put spots on the giraffes and stripes on the zebras. An eye doctor's office is the setting for two bright peacocks that are having the eyes in their tails examined. The ice blue polar bear stands among many tables of outdoor diners: "And when they're faced with summer's heat, / do polar bears eat summer treats?" Additional small pictures that suit the theme run around the perimeters of some pages, and the humans pictured are of many genders and ethnicities. But where the book's design and illustrations enchant, the couplets do not. (Irritatingly, many are improperly punctuated as well as forced.) Poor text makes skipping this zoo trip advisable. (Picture book. 3-6)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781935954279
  • Publisher: Lemniscaat USA
  • Publication date: 5/1/2013
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 32
  • Sales rank: 1,026,759
  • Age range: 3 - 5 Years
  • Product dimensions: 9.80 (w) x 11.40 (h) x 0.30 (d)

Meet the Author

Husband-and-wife team Elle van Lieshout (1963) and Erik van Os (1963) write books, songs, and poetry for young children and beginning readers.Being parents themselves and constantly playing with words and language, Elle and Erik know exactly what tone to use to appeal to younger children.
AliceHoogstad (1957) alreadyillustratedmany internationally published children's andpicture books, some of which wereturned into movies. Many of her works have been exhibitedin museums. How Much Does the Gray in an Elephant Weigh?is her firstpicture bookwithLemniscaat.
 MaryChris Bradley enhanced the fun rhyming structure of the book for English language audiences. Her previous translations and adaptations include several books for NorthSouth Books. MaryChris lives in Metuchen, New Jersey with her husband Bruce and a dog named Brewster. This is her first book with Lemniscaat. 
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