STRICTLY NO ELEPHANTS by Lisa Mantchev

STRICTLY NO ELEPHANTS

by , illustrated by
Age Range: 3 - 7
Email this review

KIRKUS REVIEW

After a little boy and his tiny elephant are barred from the Pet Club, they befriend other children with unusual pets.

The first-person narrative has a quiet, contemplative feel: “The trouble with having a tiny elephant for a pet is that you never quite fit in. / No one else has an elephant.” His pet is shy of sidewalk cracks: “I always go back and help him over. That’s what friends do: lift each other over the cracks.” Embodying dejection after the two turn from that large, titular sign on the door, a double-page spread—a Photoshop-augmented linoleum block print—depicts a dark teal cityscape slashed with raindrops and bobbing with black umbrellas. The Caucasian boy, his pet (in matching red scarves), and a little African-American girl in cornrows and a red-and-orange striped dress are the bright spots in this poignant tableau. Turns out that this girl—a pet skunk curled on her lap—has been turned away too. “He doesn’t stink,” she says. “No, he doesn’t,” concurs the boy and then suggests, “What if we start our own club?” Observant children will spot a porcupine, penguin, and giraffe peering from brownstone windows along the way; they and their children join others with equally exotic pets. Yoo’s concluding scenes depict a treehouse occupation (its restrictive message changed to “ALL ARE WELCOME”) and multiethnic, multispecies harmony.

Sweet and affirming. (Picture book. 3-7)

Pub Date: Oct. 27th, 2015
ISBN: 978-1-4814-1647-4
Page count: 32pp
Publisher: Paula Wiseman/Simon & Schuster
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15th, 2015




MORE BY TAEEUN YOO

ChildrenHERE IS THE BABY by Polly Kanevsky
by Polly Kanevsky
ChildrenTUA AND THE ELEPHANT by R.P. Harris
by R. P. Harris
ChildrenYOU ARE A LION! by Taeeun Yoo
by Taeeun Yoo

SIMILAR BOOKS SUGGESTED BY OUR CRITICS:

ChildrenPET SHOW! by Ezra Jack Keats
by Ezra Jack Keats
ChildrenTHE HOUSE ON EAST 88TH STREET by Bernard Waber
by Bernard Waber
ChildrenA SICK DAY FOR AMOS MCGEE by Philip C. Stead
by Philip C. Stead