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by Il Sung Na & illustrated by Il Sung Na

Age Range: 2 - 5

Pub Date: March 9th, 2010
ISBN: 978-0-375-86106-2
Publisher: Knopf

A bright-eyed elephant finds a “thingamabob,” and curiosity sets in. Enchanted by the new toy—a cherry-red umbrella—he begins to explore its possibilities. Just when the agreeable creature seems most mystified by the enigmatic object, raindrops begin to fall from the sky. Post-epiphany, the elephant is cheery and dry; snuggly friends and a vibrant rainbow complete the sugary-sweet picture of trunked-out bliss. A repetitive punch line to the elephant’s silly exploits will have readers happily anticipating the big-eared mammal’s next move; and those who adore all things super-kawaii-cute will fall for the the spherical elephant flying and flailing with his umbrella. Na’s drawings, colored with a collage of digitally manipulated textures, are suggestive of late-’80s or early-’90s decorative-art painting, with textures defined and consistent. Unfortunately, while the umbrella is supposed to save the animals, the rain never appears to reach them once the elephant has discovered its value. Distant clouds and drops play enticingly far away; thus, the narrative is abandoned for a design aesthetic that at times is overly cerebral. Despite inconsistencies, an enjoyable read aloud. (Picture book. 2-5)