A small elephant’s superhero ambitions leave unintended chaos wherever he goes.
The determined Jumbo, in gray overalls, takes a creative approach to being super: he hoists barbells crafted from two halves of a watermelon, fires a plumber’s helper from a curved bow, and sports a bright yellow cape and eye mask cut from the middle of the living-room curtains. Messes abound in his wake. Out in the neighborhood, Jumbo stops traffic (assorted animal pedestrians and drivers) for a small parade of snails. He brings a ladder to “help” a cat up a tree. He shoos birds away from popcorn scattered by an elderly elephant in the park. These deeds go unappreciated, as the young audience will guess. Yet faced with the opportunity to be of real assistance, sweet-toothed Jumbo resists the call of the wares in the cake-shop window. He hurries to help, has just the right tool at hand, and makes a friend. Koehler’s chunky, bold lines and varying perspectives are comical and lively, while the simple text offers several moments of nicely silly contrasts between the elephantine wannabe superhero’s intentions and his results. Amusing vignettes of the superhero on the title page, verso, and dedication page offer glimpses of Jumbo’s challenges. A box of Jumbo cookies makes its appearance early on and reappears several times before the end.
Broadly entertaining. (Picture book. 3-6)