Nancy is an elephant who has forgotten something, and she just can’t remember what it could be.
She uses all the tricks she can as she struggles to come up with the missing information, but nothing works. She thinks of clothes, things with wheels, colors, things that fly, food, and all kinds of other odds and ends and ideas just out of reach. It is only when she relaxes and stops thinking about it that she remembers a play date at the park. The slight tale is charming, but it is merely the vehicle for a truly beautiful and unique visual tour de force. Young creates delicately worked, detailed illustrations of the things Nancy does remember and sorts them into a wide variety of categories shown within graphite-pencil outlines of Nancy’s elephantine body in front, back, overhead and sideways perspectives. She appears standing or rearing, sleeping or sitting. Things are remembered neatly or jumbled up; sights, sounds and smells are recalled, as well as places and objects, all in interesting juxtapositions. Each item is a tiny, intricate sculpture made with Japanese papers. Colorful shapes in abstract design and amazingly detailed, seemingly three-dimensional objects demand intense, close examination, and fingers will tingle with the wish to lift them off the page. It’s a work to be shared in wonderment and delight.
Pure fascination. (Picture book. 3-10)