Lizzie's favorite toy is the knitted elephant her grandmother gave her on the day she was born (``so they were exactly the same age''). Smee ( Noah's Ark ) amplifies her economical text with soft, winsome watercolors that demonstrate the girl's attachment to her elephant. Lizzie and her constant companion play dress-up, take baths, even experience potty-training together. Inevitably, Elephant begins to look the worse for wear. Without overanimating, Smee conveys the other toys' reactions as Lizzie appropriates their clothing to cover the stuffing poking through Elephant's ``hide.'' When a disastrous wagon ride completely unravels Elephant, leaving only the two tusks, Lizzie's grandmother suggests placing the tusks under Lizzie's pillow for the tooth fairy (who turns out to be Grandma and her clicking knitting needles). All ends happily (Lizzie's toys also rejoice at getting their clothing back); however, some may perceive the grandma ex machina solution as a cop-out for not confronting the loss of a child's special treasure. Ages 3-7. (Apr.)
- Marla Frenzel
The whimsical watercolor drawings will delight the younger set. The subject matter will hit close to home for many of them; that is, a well-worn and well-loved stuffed animal. Here, Lizzie's favorite is a knitted elephant that her grandma gave her the day she was born. She drags it everywhere. One day, it catches on a thorn and totally unravels. She discovers what has happened when only two tusks are left dangling in the wagon. Seeing her crying, her grandma rushes to see what is wrong. She suggests to Lizzie that she put the tusks under her pillow for the tooth fairy. She then knits a new elephant and leaves it for Lizzie to find in the morning. Upon awakening, Lizzie rushes with the elephant into her grandma's room, exclaiming, "The tusk fairy's been here!"
School Library Journal
PreS-K-Lizzie adored the knitted elephant her grandmother gave her when she was born, even though it began ``to look the worse for wear.'' When an errant thorn causes the stuffed toy to unravel to nothing but frizz and two tusks, Grandma suggests that Lizzie put them under her pillow and-sure enough- the Tusk Fairy comes to deliver a new elephant. Alert youngsters will know what those clicking knitting needles through the night mean and will laugh at the green tip of Elephant's trunk-a sign that Grandma ran out of gray yarn. A charming story with large, cartoon-line watercolors that will work well for any story hour, but especially those that include the children's best-loved toys.-Susan Hepler, Alexandria City Public Schools, VA