During a big storm, Little Elephant panics when he gets lost in the rainforest. Can he find his way back to safety?
The wind blows “swish sway swish sway,” and the rain falls “pitter patter pitter patter.” Scared, Little Elephant stays close to his mother. But when “an old tree CRACKS and CRASHES to the ground,” poor Little Elephant is separated from her. But the pachyderm has little time to despair. A tiger is coming, and he must run for his life! Little Elephant runs faster and faster as the tiger gains on him. Just in time, he is reunited with his mother. Huddled within his herd, Little Elephant is safe, and the tiger flees. Little Elephant’s rainforest adventure is nothing new. The beauty of the story, however, lies in the rhythmic onomatopoeia and fanciful illustrations. The howling wind’s “whistles and wails” and the “slip-slop” of slippery mud are heightened by playfully manipulated swirling, swishing letters in varying fonts and sizes. MacCarthy’s dynamic art also enhances the story. Double-page spreads boast wide expanses of rainforest in rich, warm shades of greens, golds, and browns. Tropical plants and rainforest creatures come to life in vivid detail, while emotion and mood are intensified with every carefully chosen hue, line, and brushstroke. In addition, readers will enjoy spotting creatures unique to the tropical rainforests of Southeast Asia scattered throughout the book (a key at the back helps with identification).
Any child who has been lost will relate to this story; the language and illustrations will make it a joy to read. (Picture book. 4-8)