A cheerful blue elephant and his father—they look as though they are made out of chunky, glossy plastic—spend a special Saturday together. The child carefully and excitedly documents each activity: “We buy marshmallows and hot dogs and a great big bag of charcoal. We’re going to have a cookout!” After assembling the grill and cooking lunch, marshmallow roasting and a game of Frisbee follow (“I try to catch it but mostly I miss”), and then it’s naptime in a nearby hammock. Working in oil and painting in a bright, summery palette, Andreasen makes the two elephant characters the focus of every scene, emphasizing the significance of creating childhood memories with a loved one—even if it’s as simple as planning a special meal. Ages 3–7. Agent: Shannon Associates. (May)
“Straightforward, matter-of-fact sentences and oil illustrations effectively capture the family's day. Youngsters will enjoy snuggling up with their dads to share this one.”
School Library Journal
“Andreasen's bright illustrations pop from the page and do a great job of telling the story.”
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“The star here is the oil paint on gessoed illustration board art, done in charming retro style.”
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“The illustrations . . . have a retro, naïve '50s look and add a light touch to the seriousness of the firefighters' duties.”
School Library Journal on Firebears
Little Elephant jumps on the footstool by his Mom and Dad’s bed. “Rise and shine!” he says happily. It’s Saturday, and it is his favorite day because he gets to spend it with Daddy. Little Elephant and his Daddy follow the daily routine of a hearty breakfast in a kitchen filled with the smell of coffee. After dressing, he and Daddy go to shop at the market and sing songs in the car on the way. At the market, they buy supplies needed for a Saturday cookout. A special stop allows Little Elephant to help Daddy choose a new red barbecue grill. They assemble it at home, and then don matching aprons to grill hot dogs for lunch. Mommy’s deviled eggs add to the feast. A scrumptious dessert of roasted marshmallows and precedes playing Frisbee. When it is naptime, they rest in a comfy outdoor hammock and think about their good day. This board book is perfect for little hands to turn the pages. Spreads have minimal text to keep the reader or listener’s interest. Delightful illustrations are done in lovely colors and the blue Elephant family adds charm. Little ones will ask to read this book again and again because of the illustrations and the simple chronological tale of a good day. The happy relationship between Daddy and Little Elephant also adds to the book’s appeal. Reviewer: Nancy Garhan Attebury; Ages 2 to 5.
Children's Literature - Nancy Garhan Attebury
PreS-K—A little blue elephant and his dad spend Saturday morning running errands and preparing for a barbecue. They shop, assemble a grill, and cook together in their matching aprons. After lunch, they play in the yard, and then nap on a hammock. The mother makes several appearances throughout the day, but this title is a celebration of time spent with Daddy. Straightforward, matter-of-fact sentences and oil illustrations effectively capture the family's day. Youngsters will enjoy snuggling up with their dads to share this one.—Laura Hunter, Mount Laurel Library, NJ
This slice-of-life tale about a bright blue anthropomorphized elephant family is pleasant but fails to excite. Saturday is the day that a perky young pachyderm spends with his dad. Clear but pedestrian language recounts each activity the two engage in throughout the day: "After breakfast we get dressed. Then Daddy and I hop in the car and head to Mr. Patel's market. / We sing along to our favorite songs on the radio." They get the supplies for a cookout, work together to build a grill, enjoy a meal in the backyard--even after spilling some lemonade--toss a Frisbee and finally "pile into the big hammock" for a nap. While Andreasen's illustrations are cheery and vibrant, the text rarely succeeds in conveying the quiet joys father and child have as they go about their suburban activities. Preschoolers will enjoy seeing the young elephant helping out and participating in some fun on every page--the pair is adorable in their matching orange aprons--but although well-intentioned, this title remains flat and forgettable.
(Picture book. 3-6)