ENCORE FOR ELEANOR by Bill Peet

ENCORE FOR ELEANOR

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Stilt-walking elephant Eleanor, retired from the circus, becomes a star again at the zoo--by (gulp) drawing pictures. It's not one of Peet's livelier or likelier inventions--once he's gotten poor Eleanor out of the circus (where her ""weak knees"" have made her a potential danger to the other performers) and into a cozy pen in the zoo (where she doesn't ""want to be seen"" unless ""I can perform a few tricks or do something clever to earn my keep""), the story just peters out in the sort of solution that anyone might have come up with: a teenage girl comes to draw the animals, then throws down her charcoal in disgust when her rhinoceros-subject moves; Eleanor, who's been watching, picks up the charcoal and--presto!--starts drawing her old circus comrades. A pompous teacher's disparaging reference to a ""dumb animal"" then persuades her to give a public demonstration. As usual, the pictures make the cunning most of Eleanor's changing states of mind (or, see just her derriere when she's feeling like ""an overgrown wrinkled ugly big bloop of a thing"" in the zoo). There are still some good lines, then, and some good pictures, for the (understandably) avid Peet following.

Pub Date: April 27th, 1981
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin