by Eve Bunting, illustrated by Sergio Ruzzier
A sweet little adventure story about a baby elephant and her mother who spend the day taking a stroll. Sergio Ruzzier's pen and ink and watercolor illustrations which have verged on the melancholy or surreal in earlier offerings such as Amandina and Hey, Rabbit!, are simply charming here.
Little Elephant holds onto Mama's tail (the elephant version of holding hands) and is encouraged to tweak her mother's tail when she has a question. Passing by a jumping frog, a climbing monkey, a swimming crocodile and more, Little Elephant asks her mother if she can do what the other animals are doing. I loved the imaginative two-page spreads as Little Elephant pictures herself leaping, flying and singing, and Mama Elephant gently reminds her of more elephantine alternatives: spraying herself with water from her trunk, scratching against a tree, and so on. There's a comforting cadence to the repeating refrain "Did that feel good my little elephant? Very good, Mama. And on they went."
I loved Little Elephant's furrowed brow of determination as she tries out stomping her feet, and the serene smile she wears when she remembers the way home and leads Mama Elephant behind her. This cozy read is just right for preschoolers.
I borrowed this book from the library.