Who keeps the savanna and its animals safe? Elecopter!
“She scans the savannah / from high above. // Patrolling the sky, / it’s a labor of love.” A chubby blue elephant with landing skids for feet and propellers on top and tail, Elecopter saves baby birds from electrical storms. She rescues a lion (blinded by an out-of-control mane) from walking off a cliff (and then gives him a mane cut with his rotors). She even helps giraffes with loose teeth. When she sees a billowing cloud of smoke and a fire in the distance, she snags her ladder and her rope and speeds off to help. “She scoops up cheetah / alone and marooned. // Then lowers a ladder / to the stranded baboons.” She saves those in danger and then puts out the fire with her hose nose. “Working for peanuts, / she’s quite the contraption. / A helicopter elephant / always ready for action.” Slack’s follow-up to Monkey Truck (2011) moves from the jungle to the savanna for more animal/machine mashup mayhem. The digitally painted illustrations are bright and zippy. Elecopter’s the only character who’s part machine, and her helpfulness will inspire. Less of a laugh riot than Slack’s previous solo effort, this will nonetheless please children by offering animals, vehicles and heroics all in one.
“Go, Elecopter! Go!” (Picture book. 2-5)