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THE ELEPHANT’S CHILD by Rudyard Kipling


by Rudyard Kipling & illustrated by Geoffrey Patterson

Age Range: 6 - 9

Pub Date: June 1st, 2007
ISBN: 978-1-84507-068-7
Publisher: Frances Lincoln

Sinuous lines make a unifying visual motif for Patterson’s dark, richly colored pastels in this lightly abridged version of the classic tale. Young Elephant, deep blue and with a black knob on the end of his nose like a bowling ball, satisfies his “’satiable curiosity” (changed from “curtiosity”) about what crocodiles have for dinner by traveling to the great, grey-green, greasy Limpopo River (no longer “hung about with fever trees”) to ask, then returns to spank all of his abusive relatives with his permanently stretched-out trunk. The original’s actual language remains unchanged (with the exception noted above), and the removal of occasional phrases or sentences makes so little difference that it seems superfluous. The art is more inviting than the strange scenes in John Rowe’s edition (1995), but in the end, this one is extra, considering the several other abridged versions available, and the full one illustrated by Lorinda Bryan Cauley (1983). (Picture book/short story. 6-9)