A review of “Erica’s Elephant” by Sylvia Bishop and illustrated by Ashley King

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Published by Scholastic RRP £8.99 Hardcover

Synopsis from the Scholastic website:

When Erica Perkins wakes up on the morning of her tenth birthday, the last thing she expects is to find a very confused elephant sitting on her doorstep. So begins an unlikely friendship. But can a small girl and a rather large elephant learn to live together in a tiny terraced house? And when the dastardly owner of the local zoo plots to steal the elephant, will Erica be able to outsmart him?

So what did I think?

There’s really only one thing you need to know about this book: it’s just brilliant! Pack it in your suitcase for a treat while you’re on holiday (it deserves to be read in a special location). Or if you’re not going away, save it for a rainy day when you want to be cheered up. If you could read it at the seaside whilst eating an ice cream, that would be perfect!

As with all the best children’s books, Erica is pretty much left to her own devices, so when her uncle sends her an elephant, she has to handle a series of tricky events. The characters she meets along the way are all a bit eccentric, and she learns that first appearances can be deceptive.She soon develops a special bond with the elephant (who has a bad knee), and when the authorities want to put him in the zoo, she devises a cunning plan. Erica (a practical girl we are told!) reminds me of Pippi Longstocking with her stoic, resilient attitude and unique perspective of the world.

What grabs you from the start is the voice: so warm, witty and bubbly. Reading this story is like slurping a delicious milkshake that you’ve spent ages blowing bubbles in. It is light and frothy, yet very satisfying. The voice reminded me a lot of Roof Toppers, which is my favourite book from the past few years, so in a way Erica’s Elephant feels like a younger sister, and hooray for that! I’m very much looking forward to reading more of Sylvia’s books in the future.

Ashley King’s illustrations add so much to the story too – they are a perfect match for this delightful story. I love his style! He’s going to be One To Watch.

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I think kids would love this if they enjoy watching Mr Popper’s Penguins or Paddington; or if they enjoy reading Pippi Longstocking or Horrid Henry. It’s perfect for animal lovers too!

The book is aimed at the 7-9 age group.

Many thanks to Scholastic for sending me a copy of the book for the interview I did with Sylvia Bishop and Ashley King, which you can read here!

Happy reading 🙂

Pippa Wilson @hellopipski

10th June 2016


One comment

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