Arthur and the Elephant by Fiona Campbell and Illustrated by Laura Vann

[I received a review copy of this book from the publisher.  No other compensation was received.]

Arthur’s room has been taken over by a new lodger named Mr. Grey.  Yet, this is no ordinary lodger, this is an elephant in disguise!  Arthur, a young boy, is the only one calling it like it is.  He spends several months plotting and planning ways to prove the obvious to the oblivious.  Will his mother ever believe that Mr. Grey is an elephant?  This is a fun story that is creative, playful, and endearingly quirky!

Ages 3+. Purple Poodle Press.  May 2014. 30 pages. ISBN:978-0992833503. Fiction.

Where to Get it:

  • [Local Library]: Worldcat.org — Doesn’t list it, ask your library!
  • [Local Bookstore]:  Indiebound.org — Doesn’t list it, ask your local bookstore!
  • [Affiliate Link]: Amazon.com

You Should Read Arthur and the Elephant because:

  • It’s therapeutic for you and your child!  “See!  See! See! I told you!  I told you! But the mom wouldn’t listen!!!!”  Which, of course, you can respond by saying, “And you’ve always believed everything I’ve told you???”
  • This book provides a great segue for discussing the importance of believing people and what you can do when a person doesn’t believe you.
  • There are all kinds of interesting things to talk about that I haven’t found in other picture books: what a lodger is, disguises, the Queen of England, why the Queen of England signs photographs, sitting room vs. living room, Groucho Marx, and ways you might overcome obstacles involving lifting an elephant onto a scale at the post office. (The last being an in-depth and highly-imaginative conversation at our house that involved multiple construction vehicles.)
  • It absolutely rings true — the child sees the obvious but the adult is in complete denial.  This has certainly happened in our house and it is always affirming to see that you’re not the only one making such a mistake.
  • Kids like plans and they like to plot!  Until reading this story, I forgot how exciting planning can be for children.   This story reflects and excites that aspect of childhood.  My son was interrupting the story and recommending all kinds of other potential solutions and plans.  He totally got into it.
  • Groucho glasses are funny.  Groucho glasses on an elephant are even funnier.  Groucho glasses on an elephant to a four-year-old boy?  Could there be anything funnier?  Farts. True, I’ll grant you that.  But outside of bodily functions and The Book with No Pictures? Apparently, it is Groucho glasses on an elephant — which this story has in abundance.
  • Sweet illustrations that made me stop and realize that at one point the illustrator, Laura Vann, had to seriously consider how best to illustrate an elephant wearing Groucho glasses. She did a splendid job!

From Arthur and the Elephant © 2014 Fiona Campbell and Laura Vann. Images Courtesy Fiona Campbell.

From Arthur and the Elephant © 2014 Fiona Campbell and Laura Vann.  Images Courtesy Fiona Campbell.

From Arthur and the Elephant © 2014 Fiona Campbell and Laura Vann. Images Courtesy Fiona Campbell.

Author/Illustrator Websites:

Other Reviews of this Book:

Where Obtained:  I received a review copy from the author.  No other compensation was received.  I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

FTC Disclosures:  Some of the links in the post above are Amazon affiliate links and others are IndieBound affiliate links. If you click on the link and purchase something, I will receive an affiliate commission at no additional cost to you. Which goes to fund my family’s picture book habit.  It’s a vicious cycle, but we manage.  I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

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