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I don't review books I don't like!

*****= An all-time favorite
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****Elephant elephant

by Pittau & Gervais

Reviewed March 22, 2002.
A Sonderbooks' Best Book of 2002 (#4, New Picture Books)
Harry N. Abrams, Inc., Publishers, 2001.  74 pages.  Available at Sembach Library.  (E PIT)

Elephant elephant is not your ordinary, boring book of opposites.  Yes, it starts out simple enough:  Big, small.  Wide, narrow.  Each set of two pages pictures two elephants epitomizing the qualities named.  However, as it continues, it gets downright quirky.  Things like inflated and deflated, lit and extinguished.  I like Subtraction (an elephant with no head) and Addition (an elephant with two heads).  Who would have thought that elephants could be pictured with such creativity and imagination?  My favorite set of all are the pictures representing “Smart” and “Stupid.”  They are completely identical.

It’s hard to say what age child you would buy this book for.  When Timmy (my 7-year-old) and I read it at the library, we both responded, “I like that!”  We took it home and made the rest of the family read it.  Still, it seems on the simple side for a seven-year-old.  Perhaps it’s a book for 3- to 5-year-olds, whose lucky parents will actually enjoy the prospect of reading it again and again.

The copyright page tells that this book is a translation of Les Contraires, originally published in France.  The next time I’m in France, I’m determined to look for a copy.  What better way to learn all sorts of useful adjectives in French?  I’d never forget the words for “Angular” and “Curvy” again.

Copyright © 2003 Sondra Eklund.  All rights reserved.

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