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HIDING PHIL by Eric Barclay


by Eric Barclay ; illustrated by Eric Barclay

Age Range: 3 - 5

Pub Date: Sept. 1st, 2013
ISBN: 978-0-545-46477-2
Publisher: Scholastic

It’s awfully hard to hide an elephant.

Three kids find an elephant waiting at the bus stop (the Pachyderm Bus Line, of course). According to the luggage tag, his name is Phil. They take the squat, dumpy blue elephant, complete with tiny fedora, to the park and have a grand time jumping rope and sliding down his trunk. But suddenly, with wide-eyed terror, they realize something. Their parents will likely be less than thrilled about this new friend. “We must hide Phil!” they all shout at the top of their lungs. He’s too big for the doghouse, but piling leaves on top of him almost works until one of those leaves tickles his trunk. After one last solution that seems perfect, their parents enter and immediately ask, “Um. Is that an elephant?” (Gosh-darn parents—they always figure things out.) They order Phil to leave. But Phil just may have some hiding spots of his own. Spare text in scattered speech bubbles makes this a good choice for beginning readers. The illustrations are reminiscent of Harry Bliss’, and details charm; Dad wears a hat almost identical to Phil’s (as well as a goatee), and the kids’ dachshund joins in the fun. The ending is a bit slapdash, but the wide range of expressions found on Phil’s flattened face more than make up for it.

A slim story full of determination, problem-solving and pachyderm glee. (Picture book. 3-5)