No! No! Not the elephant who liked to smash people silly....
The elephant who liked to smash small cars.
Here's my car...
Think I'm in trouble? So far so good. Haven't spotted any elephants in the neighbourhood yet but I'll keep on eye out.
Authored by Jean Merritt and illustrated simply and with crayons (so kid-friendly), by Ronni Solbert. Suitable for ages 3-5.
Unwrapping the illustrations between the covers...
Hope that's not my mini....no!!
There's nothing so fine as an elephant who loves to take out small cars. Take them out you may ask? Take them out on a date? Oh my no...take them out by smashing them flat. Doesn't matter the colour or the make of the car...as long as it's small it is fair fodder for his game.
He is intolerant of these little metal beasties that drive down his road and he will have none of it. Then one day a man comes to town and guess what his occupation is? He is a small-car salesman and he opens up a huge lot of various small cars right on the elephant's road.
Well what is a crushing-crazed elephant supposed to do but go on a breaking binge and pop those puppies flat real good! Undaunted by the elephant's rampage the wise man thinks up a way to stop that infringing elephant once and for all and his plan works smashingly.
The illustrations are simple, colourful, crayon drawings done in primary colours. The elephant does learn his lesson and sees the errors of his ways by a little coaxing, (and probably a little pain) administered by the prudent man who just wants to sell cars...make car deals, not deal with an obsessive, mischievous elephant who loves to sing his special car-smashing song while doing his dastardly deeds of mayhem. It's a fun, whimsical book not to be taken seriously and I loved it's vibe from the beginning to the end.
Unwrapping the author...
Jean Merrill, the children’s author best known for her 1964 title The Pushcart War, died from cancer on August 2 at her home in Randolph, Vt. She was 87.
Merrill was born January 27, 1923 in Rochester, N.Y. and grew up on her parents’ dairy farm in nearby Webster. She said in an interview that she preferred to spend most of her time outdoors as a child, “building huts, dams, rafts, forts, making barrel-stave skis, inner-tube guns, roller-skate scooters, bows and arrows, collecting wild flowers and fossil rocks, swimming, tobogganing, climbing silos, riding hay wagons, tumbling in haylofts.” She noted that writing for children may have been inspired by “the great impact certain books had on me as a child, and perhaps a wish to recreate the quality of that experience.
Merrill graduated from Allegheny College in 1944 with a B.A. and earned an M.A. from Wellesley College in 1945. Soon after she began work as an assistant feature editor at Scholastic Magazine. In 1952, Merrill won a Fulbright research grant to the University of Madras in India where she studied folklore. During the mid-1950s she worked as an editor at the Bank Street College of Education’s publications division.
In 1951 Merrill published her first book, Henry and the Hand-Painted Mouse. Her books often embraced multicultural themes and featured underdog characters winning out. The Pushcart War is the tale of street vendors in New York City who retaliate against the powerful corporate truckers who want to take over their turf. Another of her popular titles, The Toothpaste Millionaire, about a boy who turns his homemade toothpaste into a thriving business, was adapted as an ABC-TV Afternoon Special in 1974. Merrill wrote more than 30 books for young people during her career.
Ronni Solbert (b. 1925) was born in Washington, D.C., and graduated from Vassar and the Cranbrook Academy of Art. As a Fullbright recipient she studied folk and tribal art in India. She has illustrated more than forty children’s books and written and illustrated three of her own. As a painter, sculptor, and photographer she has exhibited widely in the United States and abroad.
Another beautiful book taken from The New York Review Children's Collection!
Read on and read always!
It's a wrap.
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