An elephant attempts to befriend an artillery unit.
Tilly, a squat little blue elephant, happens upon a tank one morning. It appears to have a trunk similar to hers and a tail, but this elephant is army green. She galumphs over to say hello. But when Tank spots her in his cross hairs his alarm sounds: “WEE-OOO! WEE-OOO! WEE-OOO!” Tilly’s shy “Hello” is dwarfed by a deafening “BOOOOOOOOOOM!!!” (No ammunition is shown, and the fiery blast goes over Tilly’s head.) Tilly squeezes her eyes shut and runs away. But Tilly is curious. Perhaps that BOOM is how this strange green elephant says hello. She tries to be friendly again, this time giving the green elephant’s nose a friendly “boop” with her trunk. But Tank’s alarm begins to sound once more. One last attempt brings about a resolution that comes straight out of the 1960s, flower power and all. Tilly is the epitome of innocence with her timid glances and overflowing affection, while Tank is hard, unforgiving, and hollow. But the “THUMP-THUMP, THUMP-THUMP, THUMP-THUMP” sound coming from his base in the end gives readers a reason to cheer. Fleck’s muted, digitally colored illustrations soothe any sense of potential danger exploding from Tank’s barrel.
An endearing picture-book debut about tolerance and the assumption of enmity instead of friendship. (Picture book. 4-7)