MICHAEL AND THE ELEPHANT by Ursula von Wiese

MICHAEL AND THE ELEPHANT

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KIRKUS REVIEW

How many youngsters have fantasies of running away to join the circus? Through 10 year old Michael's experiences they may live this dream out to its surprise conclusion. Since Michael's father devotes much of his writing to the subject of Burma, Michael decides to name his favorite elephant at the zoo after this distant and wonderful place. A grumbly old man at the zoo imbues Michael with a sense of injustice that animals are locked in cages instead of roaming in their natural habitats. Michael's brother George, a soldier of fortune, had run away and now Michael decides to take his elephant back ""home"" to Burma. What better opportunity to leave sticky Aunt Stephanie and embark on his journey than when ""Burma"" is transferred to her circus troupe. Posing as an elephant tamer, behind circus scenes, Michael has many adventures, all of which are incorporated in one nightmare where Merlin the magician transports everyone to Burma; but alas the poor tame elephant cannot adjust to wild life and Michael realizes his folly. Thus when his real identity is discovered Michael is relieved, and when Joey the clown turns out to be George, he is overjoyed. A truly delightful, charmingly written story with pertinent values for 8 to 11 year olds.

Pub Date: Feb. 22nd, 1960
Publisher: Harcourt Brace