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The Elephant Wish Hardcover – Bargain Price, September 9, 2008

4.9 out of 5 stars 7 customer reviews

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Hardcover, Bargain Price, September 9, 2008
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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Berger, the head writer for Sesame Street, offers a lush, poetic story that begins whimsically but has a denser, eerier mood. On her eighth birthday, Eliza Prattlebottom hopes, Oh, I wish that an elephant would come and take me away! An elephant in a floppy black hat arrives at the door and whisks her away at four times the speed of wind to a jungly place full of creatures. The plot is complicated, involving Eliza's distracted parents (her father is a businessman and her mother an opera singer) and Adelle, a nonagenarian who nurses her own fond memories of Cousin Floyd (the elephant). Juan's (The Jewel-Box Ballerinas) mixed-media pictures offer a similarly surreal complexity and depth. Vines swirl, dragonflies dart, and the line between reality and the imagination blurs, creating just the kind of dreamscape a child's wish might conjure up. From Mr. Prattlebottom's glass eye to Adelle's 200-year-old bulldog, Potato, the details are strange and wonderful, and there is a sophistication in the story, including references to Verdi and a dull boardroom (aka the long table), that will entertain adults as well as children. Ages 4–8. (Sept.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From School Library Journal

Kindergarten-Grade 3—Eliza Prattlebottom's mother (an opera singer) and father (a board member) have little time to spend with her. "Oh, I wish that an elephant would come and take me away!" Eliza thinks as she blows out all eight candles on her birthday cake. Her wish brings Cousin Floyd, an elephant who whisks her to the jungle on his back at "four times the speed of wind." Only Eliza's neighbor, 97-year-old Adelle, out pulling her elderly dog, Potato, in his wagon, sees Floyd. Recalling her own delightful childhood adventure with the elephants, she finds her way back to the jungle by following her memories. Then, reverting to a younger version of herself, she talks Eliza into going home to "friends you haven't met and a life that you must not wish away." Juan's brightly colored acrylic and crayon illustrations with their red-orange and strawberry pink backgrounds are as eccentric as the story itself: a monocle-wearing bulldog; wispy dream characters from the past floating like cloud shapes in a pink sky; pop-eyed bugs amid oversize mushrooms; and flowers in a tendril-filled forest. The story's weakness lies in its conclusion. One might wonder why an eight-year-old in the midst of an exciting dream fantasy would heed another child's instructions to give it up and go home. Perhaps the whole adventure is only a dream, after all? Berger leaves it to readers to decide.—Susan Scheps, Shaker Heights Public Library, OH
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 4 - 8 years
  • Grade Level: Preschool - 3
  • Hardcover: 48 pages
  • Publisher: Schwartz & Wade (September 9, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0375839623
  • ASIN: B005K5XO8U
  • Product Dimensions: 10.9 x 0.4 x 11.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,659,414 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
From the head writer of Sesame Street comes a debut picture book pairing gorgeous drawings by illustrator Ana Juan with the story of eight-year-old Eliza, who wishes for an elephant to come take her away for her birthday. Two days later an elephant comes down her street and takes her into a magical jungle lost to her parents. What can convince Eliza that it's worth it to return home to her family after such a journey? THE ELEPHANT WISH is a lovely and whimsical original story.
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Format: Hardcover
Reading this book to my daughter never gets old for me. I still find new details in the illustrations and am moved by certain phrases after reading it dozens of times. I first read this to my daughter just before she turned two. I thought it might be a bit much at that point and that she would get bored, but she was mesmerized. She was probably initially drawn in by the pics but has a growing love and understanding of the story now too. I wish Lou Berger and Ana Juan would collaborate again!
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The Elephant wish is a beautiful story of an 8 year old's wish to be carried away - literally by an elephant. It is an allegory for living life rather than stepping away from it and appeals to me as much as my children. The prose is magical and has lulling rhythm that has gently helped my little ones off to sleep. The pictures are likewise enchanting. I recommend this book for those who savor reading beautiful children's literature.
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Format: Hardcover
This is a very special book. The writing includes such intricate details based on a fictional fantasy story about the crossings/interactions of a young girl, magical elephant, and an older lady being projected as an inner child. The book plays on wisdom and time. I am a therapist and I enjoy reading it to one of my clients almost every session!
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