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Mr. Elephanter

Overview

Come visit the Elephantery, where Mr. Elephanter looks after the peppy elephanties! A charming, quirky picture book debut by an acclaimed cartoonist.

Early every morning, Mr. Elephanter arrives at the Elephantery to care for his diminutive charges, who greet him with toots and trumpets. There are hugs and hellos all around! They all eat pancakes, paddle and splash in the neighborhood pool, and parade through the bustling city. After naps, Mr. Elephanter pretends he’s a tunnel, ...

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Overview

Come visit the Elephantery, where Mr. Elephanter looks after the peppy elephanties! A charming, quirky picture book debut by an acclaimed cartoonist.

Early every morning, Mr. Elephanter arrives at the Elephantery to care for his diminutive charges, who greet him with toots and trumpets. There are hugs and hellos all around! They all eat pancakes, paddle and splash in the neighborhood pool, and parade through the bustling city. After naps, Mr. Elephanter pretends he’s a tunnel, tower, and bridge, while the elephanties play all around him. In fresh watercolors exuding warmth and whimsy, Lark Pien introduces the doting Mr. Elephanter—and the most adorable miniature creatures you’ll ever meet.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Mr. Elephanter goes to work at the Elephantery every morning--it appears to be an orphanage, but looks more like a grand hotel--and spends the day with three diminutive elephanties. ("Fwee!" they snort, cavorting happily around the mustachioed man.) He makes them banana pancakes; he takes them to the zoo; they dance together. At day's end he hugs them all goodnight and heads home. There's only the gentlest hint of conflict; after naptime the three elephanties biff each other up a bit and a vase is broken. Three small rear ends are perched on time-out stools as Mr. Elephanter tidies up the pieces. Pien's (Long Tail Kitty) tints are as faint as wisps of mist; her lines say no more than is necessary to convey action and emotion. Despite the unusual circumstances and questions that might arise--who are the elephanties, where are their parents, and how did Mr. Elephanter fall into elephanting?--this vision of quiet love and steady, dependable attention is just the thing for children to fall asleep to. Ages 5–up. (Sept.)
Children's Literature - Ken Marantz and Sylvia Marantz
The job of Mr. Elephanter, a large-headed, mustached, kindly-looking cartoon character, is to "look after the young and peppy elephanties" in the Elephantery. He prepares their breakfast pancakes, and then takes them for a swim in the neighborhood pool. They parade though the city and explore the park, where Mr. Elephanter meets a former elephant youngster of his, now fully grown. Back at the Elephantery, the elephants nap while Mr. Elephant does his chores. When they wake up, it's time for play. At sunset, Mr. Elephant hugs them goodbye and returns home. "See you tomorrow!" The gentle, quiet, simple story requires an accepting imagination and a sense of humor to appreciate. On the front end pages, our hero is shown sketched into a dozen small scenes that take him from his waking up to the door of the Elephantery; on the back pages he returns home and goes to sleep. The watercolored drawings are low key, good humored, reminiscent of Mr. Rogers of television fame. Reviewer: Ken Marantz and Sylvia Marantz
School Library Journal
PreS-K—In this oddly charming book, tiny elephants stand in for young children, and Mr. Elephanter, a round-faced, big-nosed mustachioed human, is their loving caregiver. He arrives at the Elephantery in the morning, where his three charges greet him with "tootles and trumpets." The elephanties spend the day eating banana pancakes, going to the pool and the park, taking a nap, getting into trouble, playing games and dancing, and finally saying good-bye to Mr. Elephanter. With lines like, "Mr. Elephanter rinses and dries them off. But sometimes they want to air-dry instead," and an illustration of the elephanties running off, children will get a good chuckle. While the plot is minimal, the simple story will speak to youngsters, and Pien's clever wording captures the humor in daily life. The sketchy watercolor illustrations portray both movement and story well. When the elephanties "get into trouble," Mr. Elephanter is shown sweeping up a broken pot while the three culprits sit in time-out chairs in the background. The denizens of the park are an odd mix of humans and animals but somehow it works. Mr. Elephanter's genuine affection for the youngsters shines through on every page, and the sweet humor will speak to the intended audience.—Amy Lilien-Harper, The Ferguson Library, Stamford, CT
Kirkus Reviews

A day in the life of Mr. Elephanter is a slice from the bygone, when the scale and pace of life didn't require medication. Mr. Elephanter, clearly a mild and loving soul, works at the elephantery, tending a small tribe of elephanties. He whips up some breakfast, brings his charges to the pool, town and park, tucks them in for their naps. He gets a moment to himself: "It's enough time to catch up on small things." In the afternoon, the elephanties get into a minor fracas, but soon they are playing and dancing; Mr. Elephanter, normally serene, looks like he's just been goosed. Time comes for Mr. Elephanter to head home (multi-paneled endpapers bracket Mr. Elephanter's day at the elephantery): hugs, goodbyes, see-you-tomorrows. There isn't a page here that doesn't melt with charm, from Mr. Elephanter, with his balloon head and small detonation of a mustache, to the tumbling, bumbling elephanties. With a slightly old-fangled atmosphere, expressive line work and balmy watercolors, Pien has created a sense of well being, where all is (mostly) right in the best of worlds. (Picture book. 4-8)

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780763644093
  • Publisher: Candlewick Press
  • Publication date: 9/28/2010
  • Pages: 32
  • Sales rank: 635,576
  • Age range: 5 - 8 Years
  • Product dimensions: 7.91 (w) x 8.17 (h) x 0.37 (d)

Meet the Author

Lark Pien is the colorist for the National Book Award Finalist and Michael L. Printz Award Winner AMERICAN BORN CHINESE by Gene Yang and the author and illustrator of the comic LONG TAIL KITTY. MR. ELEPHANTER is based on a character that first appeared in one of her hand-printed minicomics. She lives in Oakland, California.
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