In this bilingual version of a traditional Mexican counting song, an ever growing herd of elefantitos plays on a spider’s web.
It works out better than one might think, at least at first. “One / little elephant / balanced oh so elegant / right on the web of a spider…” begins the rhyming text on verso, while on recto a smiling gray elephant improbably balances on a line of spider silk strung across the page. A big, blue numeral 1 floats in the air next to it, while below is printed the refrain: “Along came a friend, from around the bend / and the elephant called to invite her.” A blue-and-white–striped pull-tab allows readers to cock the elephant’s head at the yet-unseen elephant on its way. It all goes well from one through five, but that sixth elephant results in a snapped line, a startled-looking spider, and a spread-spanning green “Ooooops!” As with Jaramillo’s earlier Los Pollitos / Little Chickies (2016), the book is constructed concertina-fashion, with the same illustrations but the original, Spanish text on the other side: “Un elefante / se balanceaba / sobra la tela / de una araña… // Como veía, que resistía, / fue a llamar a otro elefante.” The pull-tabs all work smoothly, and the numerals and pull-tab stripes change color along the spectrum as the book proceeds.
Another design success for Jaramillo and the lucky babies who are given this book. (Board book. 1-3)