Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Can one balloon make an elephant fly? by Dan Richards and Jeff Newman

Richards and Newman create an homage to the classic stories of Ezra Jack Keats while creating something completely new and delightful.

The scene opens with a scene of a zoo and a small boy's question. "Mom? Can one balloon make an elephant fly?" Mom, distracted by her cell phone, absently answers "no" but then stops to pay attention to Evan and tells him that yes, one balloon can make Evan's (toy) elephant fly. But Evan has other ideas in mind...while Mom ties balloons to his toy animals, Evan distributes balloons to his new zoo friends and when they set his toys free to float a whole other group of friends are floating as well...

Newman's evocative charcoal illustrations have thick lines and rich colors and capture the quiet humor of this dual story, while showing a mother who, though distracted, is still paying attention to her imaginative son even if she doesn't fully enter into his creative viewpoint. Not only the illustrations but the whole tenor of a book - the peek into a child's inner life and perspective and a gentle sense of humor - present a story that is sure to be a modern classic comparable to Ezra Jack Keats' stories.

Verdict: A lovely book for storytime or sharing one-on-one. Recommended.

ISBN: 9781442452152; Published 2016 by Simon and Schuster; Borrowed from another library in my consortium; Purchased for the library

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