How did that mammoth get in there? And how to get rid of it?
Young Noah opens the refrigerator, and...“There’s a mammoth in the fridge!” he cries. The family, sitting calmly at the dinner table, is understandably skeptical. “Come and eat your fries,” Dad calls back. But when he sees the mammoth jammed in tightly, he slams the door and tells Mom to call the fire department. A sturdy red truck speeds through the streets: “Wheee-ooo! Wheee-ooo!” One fireman carries a butterfly net, and the other two hold a big square net, grimly. When the first fireman opens the door, the mammoth escapes, leaving them all tangled in the big net. The mammoth hits the street and, pursued by a small crowd, climbs a tall leafy tree, remaining there long enough for everyone to get tired and leave. “Come on. It’s not our problem,” says Noah’s father. Night falls; the mammoth hears “Here, kitty, kitty” and is enticed to come down by a cute little girl named Elsa brandishing a bunch of carrots. She lures him home to her room, where he goes to sleep on the rug...right next to the unicorn, sea monster and dinosaur. With minimal lines, abundant white space and a retro palette, each of Maudet’s illustrations suggests a stand-alone cartoon, nicely in tune with Escoffier’s deadpan drollery.
This sublime absurdity should please adult readers as much as very young listeners. (Picture book. 3-5)