Ollie the Purple Elephant

Overview

Ollie is a purple elephant who is lost and has no place to call home.  Until Shelby and Peter find him in the park—and invite him to live with them.  Soon Ollie is a regular part of the family.  He doesn't have a room to call his own, but he doesn't mind. He is happy.  He loves hopscotch and kickball—but most of all he loves the dance parties the McLaughlins have after dinner.

But Mr. Puddlebottom, the downstairs neighbor, most certainly does not love ...

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Overview

Ollie is a purple elephant who is lost and has no place to call home.  Until Shelby and Peter find him in the park—and invite him to live with them.  Soon Ollie is a regular part of the family.  He doesn't have a room to call his own, but he doesn't mind. He is happy.  He loves hopscotch and kickball—but most of all he loves the dance parties the McLaughlins have after dinner.

But Mr. Puddlebottom, the downstairs neighbor, most certainly does not love Ollie.  And neither does the McLaughlins' cat, Ginger.  Ollie has taken her spot on the couch at night.  When the conspirators hatch a plan to get rid of Ollie, the purple elephant walks right into their trap—and onto a circus cart.  Will he ever be reunited with his family?

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
With bright, friendly acrylic art that recalls Krosoczka’s earlier work—such as his My Buddy, Slug (2006), another story of an unusual pet—the author offers a fast-paced and surreal tale with twists aplenty. After Mr. McLaughlin makes good on a silly promise that comes back to bite him (“that should they ever come across a purple elephant, they could keep him”), the McLaughlin family makes room for Ollie, whom they meet in a park. Good times and floor-shaking dance parties follow, upsetting the family cat and the downstairs neighbor, who collude to remove the unwanted pachyderm. After the cat persuades Ollie that he is unwanted, a sad year passes as the McLaughlins search for Ollie, who has joined a circus. Krosoczka’s story feels tailor-made for story time, thanks to kid-pleasing plot elements (elephants! circuses! robbers!), emphatic prose (“Ollie needed to do something—and fast!”), and emotive art. And he certainly offers a fun, modern twist on happily ever after: the promise of “many dance parties” to come. Ages 5–8. (Oct.)
School Library Journal
Gr 1–2—Mr. McLaughlin must make good on his promise to his children that if they ever come across a purple elephant they can take him home. When they stumble upon Ollie, the elephant is welcomed to the household by everyone but Ginger the cat and the downstairs neighbor, Mr. Puddlebottom, who is not appreciative of the raucous dance parties. The two malcontents hatch a plan: Ginger convinces Ollie that the McLaughlins regret taking him in while Mr. Puddlebottom arranges for his cousin to hire the pachyderm for his traveling circus. Soon Ollie is unhappily performing tricks and the McLaughlins are putting up missing elephant posters. When the circus comes to Ollie's old town, he takes his animal friends to see his old home and they stop a robbery. The ecstatic McLaughlins uncover Mr. Puddlebottom's hand in Ollie's disappearance and the happy ending comes in the form of many boisterous dance parties. Krosoczka's text is on the long side, but the illustrations bring the story to life. Using acrylic paints and wonderful color, he captures all the expressions, actions, and emotions that animate the narrative.—Catherine Callegari, Gay-Kimball Library, Troy, NH
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780375866548
  • Publisher: Random House Children's Books
  • Publication date: 10/11/2011
  • Pages: 40
  • Sales rank: 639,096
  • Age range: 5 - 8 Years
  • Product dimensions: 10.10 (w) x 10.20 (h) x 0.50 (d)

Meet the Author

JARRETT J. KROSOCZKA is the author and illustrator of many picture books, including Punk Farm, Punk Farm on Tour, and Baghead, as well as the popular Lunch Lady graphic novel series.  He lives in Northampton, Massachusetts, with his wife and daughter and their pug, Ralph Macchio.

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