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Bestselling author-illustrator Graeme Base has created a unique story with his signature illustrations, which are sure to appeal to young readers. Praise for Little Elephants
"The minimal text wisely recedes for Base's gorgeous paintings, and the story's very implausibility is a large part of the delight... An offbeat and winning mix of earthiness and enchantment."
--Kirkus Reviews "This is a strange, magical book. Base's lush paintings ground the fanciful story in its realistic rural setting. At the same time, the landscapes are suffused with a golden glow that casts a soporific charm over the whole book. Interesting visual details abound, from the mouse's thimble helmet to the prophetic circus posters on the walls. A great book to enjoy one-on-one."
--School Library Journal "Graeme Base has done it again. His beautifully detailed paintings are such an important part of this story."
--Library Media Connection
Publishers Weekly® Reviews
- Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
- Review Date: 2012-08-13
- Reviewer: Staff
Base (Animalia) sets this magical tale in a threatened farm belt, alluding to the American Dust Bowl era and The Wizard of Oz. Jim, an earnest boy in blue overalls, lives with his anxious mother “on a wheat farm, and the risk of plague was never far away.” Fearing that pests will spoil the crop, Jim sadly frees his pet mouse. Later, though, a top-hatted traveler promises Jim “good fortune” and leaves behind a red megaphone; when Jim blows into this horn, he hears “a faraway trumpeting sound.... A shimmering cloud of gray dust wafted away on the breeze.” That night, Jim’s mouse returns, along with happy herd of rabbit-size elephants. Together, the animals bravely battle locusts to save the harvest. Base scatters visual hints throughout the narrative: model biplanes and a photo of a uniformed man suggest Jim’s absent father, and elephant and circus images hint at the origins of the mini-pachyderms. Base’s portraits of human beings can be awkward, but his tiny elephants—who run amok like the bullfrogs in David Wiesner’s Tuesday—are captivating. Ages 4–8. (Sept.)