Sunday, February 10, 2013

Book Review - Elmer and the Birthday Quake


Elmer and the Birthday Quake

By: David McKee
Publisher: Andersen Press
Publication Date: January 2012
ISBN: 978-1467711173
Reviewed by: Deb Fowler
Review Date: February 10, 2013

Elmer, the patchwork elephant, was strolling in the jungle with his cousin, Wilbur. Lion, Tiger, Monkey, and the two cousins could hear something thundering in the distance. It was so loud that Monkey stuck his fingers in his ears. What could it possibly be? Wide-eyed Lion claimed, “Sounds like your chaps are having fun, Elmer.” Could be, but the only way to find out was to go have a peek at the situation. Oh, yes ... there was a herd of pink elephants having a BIG celebration. It was Old’s one-hundredth birthday and they were doing it up in grand style.

Their pink trunks were going this way and that as they celebrated. Little Rose, a friend of Elmer’s, was joining in on the fun. The elephants moved to “their special clearing near a cliff top” and Rose gave Old a little rose. It was their special “signal” to begin shouting and stomping. “Happy birthday, ONE. Happy birthday, TWO.” With each declaration the pink elephants would STOMP! All of a sudden something dreadful happened. The ground began to quake, the rocks flew this way and that and Old was all by his lonesome on a “pillar of rock.” Ooooh, the pink elephant’s eyes grew wide at the sight. What could they do to save poor Old? Would this hundredth birthday celebration be his last?

This is an utterly charming and fun story about Old’s disastrous birthday celebration. Elmer takes a bit of a backseat in this tale as his friend, Rose, and a herd of pink elephants do their thing. Of course the overly-exuberant crowd goes a bit too far when they stomp, stomp, stomp. The artwork is hilariously daffy when they find they are in a horrible dilemma. My favorite scene is when the big quake shakes everything up and the wide-eyed pink elephants become frightened. Of course there is a little twist when Super El shows up to do his thing. If you have a youngster who loves Elmer, he or she will definitely have a soft spot for a BIG herd of pink elephants!

Quill says: If you have an Elmer, the Patchwork Elephant, fan in your house, this special birthday tale will be a BIG hit!