I’ve come to know and love Arnold Lobel through his Frog and Toad series, so when I found Uncle Elephant lingering ‘round at a thrift store, I bought it. I hoped it would be as good as Frog and Toad. So was it?
Just about. It doesn’t have the same happy humor as Frog and Toad – it’s actually a tragedy-laced story – but the sweet love is present. See, Young Elephant’s parents go for a sail in their boat. A storm brews and they are lost at sea. Little Elephant sits in his room, sad and scared, until Uncle Elephant comes to take him home. Little Elephant and Uncle Elephant become good friends, Uncle Elephant gently coaxing Little Elephant into a good humor and providing him with much needed affection. In the end, Little Elephant’s parents return, and he is reunited with them – but not without some sadness that his time with Uncle Elephant is over.
When Uncle Elephant goes to light the lamp, they hear a small voice echoing out of it, prompting both elephants to wish for wonderful things. However, they don’t get their wishes because the voice is that of a tiny spider, not a genie.
‘Darn’ is used twice.
Conclusion. As I said, sadder than Frog and Toad, but just as sweet.
Review © 2015 Laura Verret