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THE ELEPHANT WISH by Lou Berger Kirkus Star


by Lou Berger & illustrated by Ana Juan

Age Range: 4 - 8

Pub Date: Sept. 9th, 2008
ISBN: 978-0-375-83962-7
Publisher: Schwartz & Wade/Random

A young girl’s extraordinary wish comes true until an old lady moves in to take her place. On her eighth birthday, Eliza Prattlebottom wishes an elephant would come and take her away from her busy parents. “Two days, six hours, thirty-seven minutes, and nine seconds” later an elephant named Cousin Floyd materializes, lifts Eliza onto his back and takes off at “four times the speed of wind.” No one notices the elephant except 97-year-old Adelle, who remembers her own wish for an elephant when she was a girl and decides it’s time to rejoin Cousin Floyd. Memory carries Adelle back where the world looks “jungly” and there she finds Cousin Floyd with Eliza. But only one wisher can stay with the elephant, so either Adelle or Eliza must go home. Juan’s bold, fanciful acrylic-and-crayon illustrations create colorful, dreamlike scenes that prove the perfect accompaniment to the candid, imaginative text—a wedding of magical realism in word and image. A stunning lesson in the power of wishes and memory pitting the child Eliza against the childlike Adelle. (Picture book. 4-8)