I CAN SQUASH ELEPHANTS! by Malcolm Carrick


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Somber, eerie, artsy black-and-white drawings accompany what was once (we'll assume) a simple cumulative tale of a small animal--herein a caterpillar--who imagines himself as powerful as his echoing voice. The Caterpillar who's pre-empted Hare's cave thunders out a challenge not only to Hare but to all his forest friends. When Lion, for instance, asks ""Who is there?"" the cocky Caterpillar retorts: ""Me. I am covered with long spiky hair. Shaped like a rainbow, I have more legs than there are trees in the forest. I eat my way through the world. And--I can squash elephants!"" Whereupon--and this is the book's portentous new wrinkle--the Lion imagines a mechanical, world-destroying monster. Front and back flaps make reference to our technologically-endangered environment, with author/artist Carrick quoted as supposing that animals sense the threat too. But it's a little too much to expect kids to believe that this is what goes on in animals' minds.

Pub Date: Sept. 11th, 1978
Publisher: Viking