Wednesday, January 26, 2011
Busy Elephants: Almost as Cute as Moi
Library youth services across the nation (which probably includes Indiana) are eagerly awaiting the release of a new children's board book, Busy Elephants, written by John Schindel and photographed by Martin Harvey (Tricycle Press, 2011) (ISBN 9781582463834). Our book trailer below will clue you into the inside story.
Sources close to the publisher inform me that the book carries a reading level of human ages 4-8, but the book should be a sure hit with tiny toddling children-people as well as preschoolers. Apparently, some of the little human guys haven't learned to read all the big words yet, so grown-up people have readalouds (not a word--certainly not a single word--but really should be. Scowl-Face, my editor, says to hyphenate. Read-alouds. There. His blood pressure can return to normal now.) Little children-people will shriek for joy (believe me, they shriek for a lot of reasons) when adult people read this wonderful book aloud, with its beautiful photographs of elephants matched with rhymes and action verbs. Elephants are mighty cute, especially the babies, so there is indeed much to shriek about.
Elephants are smart, graceful, and gregarious animals (take that, Professor Strunk!) that will charm your socks off, make no mistake. Everybody will love this book, because elephants are, front and center, really lovable big dudes.
Glad to Call Elephants My Friends, Especially When I Need a Comfy Ride Way Up High,
Cauli Le Chat
MPL Roving Reporter
Big Ears and Tusks News Bureau
P.S. William Strunk, Jr., Professor of English at Cornell back in the early 20th century, told E.B. White and classmates not to use "a big word when a little word will do" in their writing. White was one of the great essayists of the 20th century--possibly the greatest, along with his pal, James Thurber, who was partial to slobberdogs and shared an office with White at The New Yorker--so he must have learned something from Professor Strunk. Well, gregarious may be a two dollar word, but, sometimes, those fifty cent words are just too, well, pedestrian. I bet elephants prefer big words they can wrap their trunks around.