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What Elephant?
     

What Elephant?

by Genevieve Cote
 

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George comes home one day to find an elephant watching TV and eating chocolate chip cookies in his living room. When he tells his friends, they say it's impossible: George must be seeing things. But the next day, and the day after that, his large and uninvited guest remains and makes itself even more at home — with disastrous results. (Elephants should

Overview

George comes home one day to find an elephant watching TV and eating chocolate chip cookies in his living room. When he tells his friends, they say it's impossible: George must be seeing things. But the next day, and the day after that, his large and uninvited guest remains and makes itself even more at home — with disastrous results. (Elephants should NEVER sit on couches.) Is George dreaming or just plain crazy?

Before long, his friends see the elephant as well. Or do they've SURELY they too aren't going crazy like poor George? So no one says a single word about the gigantic creature lounging in the flowerbed ... until something happens that finally breaks this very awkward silence.

With delightful text and charming illustrations, Geneviève Côté tells the silly and whimsical tale of an elephant that is seen ... but is not necessarily believed!

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
(Author, Genevieve Cote) causes readers to fall in love with the oversized intruder even though it wreaks domestic havoc and exhibits questionable houseguest behaviour.—Canadian Children's Book News

This thoughtful allegory can be an excellent starting point for discussions of fact versus fiction, faith and trust, and self-confidence versus peer pressure.—School Library Journal

Côté's gentle message is put across with appealing wit.—New York Times

New York Times
C?té’s gentle message is put across with appealing wit.
Canadian Children’s Book News
(Author, Genevieve Cote) causes readers to fall in love with the oversized intruder even though it wreaks domestic havoc and exhibits questionable houseguest behaviour.
Children's Literature - Vicki Foote
George finds an elephant in his house but no one will believe him. George thinks he is dreaming as the elephant takes a shower and eats all his food. He does not want to tell his friend Pip because he thinks that Pip will think he is crazy. George is very upset when he realizes that Pip cannot see the elephant in his garden. When their friend Maggie comes by, she sees the elephant but does not admit it because she thinks she is seeing things. Other friends stop by, but they think that they must be "mad, crazy, or nuts." Suddenly, a man from the circus runs into the garden and shouts that Shiraz is his elephant that ran away. George and all his friends are relieved that they are not crazy after all. At the conclusion of the book, the friends are faced with another surprise. Sketchy drawings in mixed media appropriately reflect the lighthearted events. The amusing situations will be entertaining for young readers.
School Library Journal
K-Gr 5-"Help! Help! There's an elephant in my house!" cries George as he runs down the street. This pronouncement is greeted with skepticism and giggles from his neighbors. Reluctantly agreeing that he must be dreaming, he returns home to find that the not-so-imaginary visitor is asleep on the bed and, during the next few days, it proceeds to take over the house. George, who would rather believe his friends than his own eyes, suffers in silence. Eventually, they come to visit, and although no one can fail to notice the enormous pachyderm sunbathing in the yard, each of them refuses to admit it for fear of being ridiculed. The truth is revealed when the elephant's trainer spots his beloved Shiraz and explains that the animal had run away from the circus. George feels much better knowing that he is not nuts after all, and his best friend apologizes for not believing him. And yet, when a pink poodle carrying a suitcase wanders by asking for directions to the train station.... The scribbly, mixed-media artwork suits this deceptively simple story perfectly. Children will be amused by the elephant, drawn far out of proportion to its surroundings. This thoughtful allegory can be an excellent starting point for discussions of fact versus fiction, faith and trust, and self-confidence versus peer pressure.-Martha Simpson, Stratford Library Association, CT Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
Cote turns the common expression about "ignoring the elephant in the room" into an "Emperor's New Clothes" sort of tale. A young gent named George unhappily goes about coping with the huge pachyderm that has appeared in his house because his neighbors think he's deranged when he tries to tell them it's there. Then, when they see it too, they keep quiet for fear of being thought loopy themselves. Wielding a black crayon with expressive fluency and adding thin washes of color, the author creates tongue-in-cheek scenes of the huge, rotund "guest" cheerily crushing furniture, flooding the house at bathtime and clearing out the kitchen cabinets, as George and his friends stand by with averted eyes. The part of the clear-eyed child in Andersen is played by the elephant's keeper, who rushes in at last to lead it back to the circus. Have George and company learned their lesson? Not to judge from their "Who? Me?" reaction to the pink poodle that then strolls in, carrying a suitcase. Children not yet up to thinking in metaphors may need some explanation, but the theme is certainly worth exploring, as there are always "elephants" around. (Picture book. 6-8)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781554532704
Publisher:
Kids Can Press, Limited
Publication date:
09/01/2008
Edition description:
Reprint
Pages:
32
Sales rank:
1,371,735
Product dimensions:
8.80(w) x 8.80(h) x 0.10(d)
Lexile:
AD780L (what's this?)
Age Range:
3 - 7 Years

Meet the Author

Geneviève Côté is a Montreal artist whose illustrations have graced the pages of publications such as the New York Times and the Boston Globe. Her books have received three nominations for the Governor General's Award for Illustration, one of which went on to win, and she has also won the Elisabeth Mrazik-Cleaver Award.

Geneviève Côté is a Montreal artist whose illustrations have graced the pages of publications such as the New York Times and the Boston Globe. Her books have received three nominations for the Governor General's Award for Illustration, one of which went on to win, and she has also won the Elisabeth Mrazik-Cleaver Award.

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