Simple, appealing photographs of puppets in a house illustrate this homespun tale about a lost bracelet and a fight between friends.
Ellie Elephant, who wears embroidered jeans and a dungaree cap, is heartbroken because her friendship bracelet is lost and her best friend Eli has gone home angry. Suddenly, her phone rings and a mysterious voice proclaiming to be â€œa detective and a peacemaker” offers help. She agrees, blinks her eyes three times and meets Splunkunio Splunkey, a tall (compared to puppet-sized elephants), brightly colored alien. They call Eli, who’s still mad but agrees to come over and help retrace the steps that led to the disappearance of the bracelet. Splunkey takes the two elephants through their activities from earlier that day: hide-and-seek, Eli getting stuck under a bed, the bracelet’s sudden disappearance and the yelling and accusations. Of course they find the bracelet and make up, but a plot that could be stale is freshened by the enjoyable photographs and Splunkey’s quirky diction (â€œ â€˜I need to scramdoodle ’cause I’m in a time crunch’ ”; â€œ â€˜Then again, since this case was a piece of cake, how about giving me a piece of cake?’ ”). Each page features two vertical columns of text, one in English and one in Spanish.
Though the text has some amateurish didacticism, this cheerful piece has charm. (4-8)